Financial wellness programs often go overlooked by HR departments because employers don’t understand the tangible benefits of reducing employee financial stress. If you know that your coworkers are carrying high levels of financial stress, don’t wait any longer to speak with management about a solution.
Show your employer that employee financial wellness is equally important to the health of the business as it is to the health of the employees themselves, by using these five talking points:
1. Every employee needs financial wellness and that starts in the workplace.
The majority of all employees worry about their finances on a regular basis (and spend an average of 12 work hours per month on financial issues, according to the latest research from Mercer). Nearly 40 percent of employees say they’d like for their employer to provide additional help with financial education, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s 2017 Workplace Benefits Report Millennial Supplement. Productive ways to think about finances include planning for retirement, budgeting to pay off debt and learning how to live within your means. However, when financial stress hits, unproductive thoughts about finances rise to the surface and many people begin to feel overburdened and helpless. If employees are constantly preoccupied with their financial stress, they become distracted, unproductive and devote their work hours trying to resolve personal financial issues.
2. More of your employees are stressed about their finances than you think.
Forty-eight percent of employees admit to being distracted by their finances at work, according to a 2017 study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Of those stressed employees, 46 percent spend three hours or more at work each week dealing with financial issues. Aside from hurting overall productivity (and, in turn, company profit), it also means that employees are less likely to be creative, thought-leading and reaching their highest potential during work hours. Financial wellness can help restore employee engagement and longevity with your company.
3. Financial stress is costing your company thousands of dollars every year.
Emotional stress causes physical symptoms as well. Your employees may be experiencing rapid heart rate, headache, gastrointestinal problems, restlessness or lethargy – among others symptoms – and all due to their lack of financial wellness. Over time, these symptoms evolve into chronic health problems. Nearly one million employees miss work each year due to stress related illnesses, with an estimated annual cost of $602 per person.
4. Financial stress is manageable – as long as you provide the right tools.
Financial stress is caused by many sources. From an inconsistent paycheck to the inability to pay down debt; anxiety over insurmountable student loans and even an inability to meet basic monthly expenses – financial stress looms from the inability to address life’s financial needs and this often can be easily resolved with the most basic of resources: education. Stressed employees want to get a handle on their finances – but they might not know where to find help for their personal, financial stressor. Providing employees with educational tools that help them track changing interest rates, plan for long-term (and short-term) payment goals and visualize their current spending habits are highly effective ways to reduce financial stress.
5. Employees with financial wellness benefits are happier, more productive and less likely to leave their jobs.
Experiencing financial stress doesn’t always equate to being underpaid. But, without the necessary financial wellness tools, it may lead your employees to seek out higher paying positions, or even take on a second job in order to relieve their financial stress. Seventy-six percent of employees who are financially stressed say that they would be more attracted to a potential employer who cares about their financial well-being, according to the previously mentioned PricewaterhouseCooper study.
When employees have the knowledge, tools and resources they need to make their best financial moves, it provides them with financial wellness while, at the same time, reduces their financial stress. This frees up time and energy in order for your employees to fully dedicate themselves to their work, while they’re in the office.