Making ends meet remains a daily struggle for women, millennials, African-Americans, Hispanics and those without a high school education, according to the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) published by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
That means your employee are suffering from the effects of now knowing how to manage the income you pay them, running up extraordinary amounts of debt, and the high emotional costs of expenses they haven’t planned for, including cars and mechanical systems that break down, health care costs (including from high-deductible health care plans), and aging relatives.
Two-thirds of North American employers offer their workers financial education, according to a new report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Even so, nearly half of organizations rate their workforce as only a little bit or not at all financially savvy. According to the IEFBP’s report, “Financial Education for Today’s Workforce: 2016 Survey Results,” employers are reporting more financial challenges among employees today than five years ago and are seeing these challenges reflected in the day-to-day operations of their workplace.
The report, which includes responses from organizations in the U.S. and Canada revealed that employees are struggling financially and are stressed over:
- Debt (66 percent of respondents)
- Saving for retirement (60 percent)
- Saving or paying for children’s education (51 percent)
- Covering basic living expenses (48 percent)
- Paying for medical expenses (36 percent)
Financial stress is causing all sorts of issues for employees, which in turn cause headaches for employers. According to another study, “Finding the Links Between Retirement, Stress and Health,” published by Lockton Retirement Services, highly or moderately-stressed employees are much more likely to miss work and be less productive.
According to the executive summary, financial stress finds its way to the workplace in the forms of illness, absenteeism, and decreased productivity. Respondents with high levels of stress were more than four times as likely to suffer from symptoms of fatigue, headache, depression, or other ailments. They were also twice as likely to report poor health overall.
Often, this group would be absent or disengaged from their work. They were twice as likely to use sick time when they were not ill and more likely to report being nonproductive. Half of all respondents reported using work time to review financial statements or pay bills. Those with lower levels of savings felt especially distracted; 10 percent of people with less than $100,000 in assets said their work productivity suffered a great deal due to financial stress.
If you’re worried about how financial stress is affecting your workforce, call us. Best Money Moves measures and dials down financial stress. You’ll see a more productive, empowered and healthier workforce as a result.