“When an executive knows someone has their back, they feel less stress and have more moments of clarity,” explains Kathi Browne, founder of Wingspouse Consulting and an executive spouse herself. The wingspouse concept invites spouses of management level employees to take an active role in their partners’ careers. They may show a candidate’s spouse around the community, offer their own skills on a project, or be an extra set of eyes and ears during an event. At the same time, the company is encouraged to support these partnerships by involving spouses in operations such as recruitment, and respecting family time. “Cultivating a true partnership between an executive and the spouse has a snowball effect,” explains Browne, “the couple communicates better, the executive works smarter, the spouse coordinates better, and the company sees a positive effect to the bottom line.”
A notable research project conducted in 1996 supports Browne’s statement. It reported that American businesses lost an estimated $6 billion due to decreased productivity related to relationships (Forthofer, Markman, Cox, Stanley & Kessler, 1996). In addition, stress-related issues cost Corporate America $300 billion annually (Valasquez-Manof, 2005), a clear indication of the potential savings a successful program could offer to businesses.
Along with executive spouse coaching, Wingspouse Consulting maintains a blog (at www.wingspouse.com)
Regardless of which side one takes in the debate, it is clear that businesses are eager to find new ways to save money and retain their best employees. As more and more executives consider work life balance a priority, maybe cost savings should be a family affair.
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About Wingspouse Consulting: Wingspouse Consulting is an executive coaching company with a twist: Spouses are the primary focus. Companies are encouraged to include spouses of upper management employees in a capacity that will benefit the executive, the company, and home relations. This inclusion improves relationship, retention, and recruitment while reducing stress, absentees, and ultimately the bottom line. Spouses are provided coaching on how to be their partners' secret weapon. For more information, go to http://wingspouse.com