Your employees are currently struggling with personal financial stress, which prevents them from working at maximum capacity.
Sure you overhear your employees talking about their lives, but even though financial stress is a huge component, it’s not likely you’ll hear about it. Ninety percent of employees use work time to deal with personal financial issues. However, as their employer, you can actually help without impacting your firm’s budget drastically.
Luckily, just knowing financial stress exists for your employees is half the battle. Once you pinpoint the primary stressors, you can contribute to fixing some of those problems. As you do, you will improve employee commitment while increasing work productivity from your team – two key factors that allow financial stress interventions to pay for themselves.
Here are three things to know about your employees that they might not even know about themselves:
1. Your employees’ financial stress is costing you money.
Eighty percent of employees admit personal financial concerns impact their work productivity, as highlighted in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This leads to a $250 billion “financial stress loss” in employees’ wages, as cited by a 2017 Mercer study.
Employees can spend up to an average of 1/8 of their work week dealing with personal financial issues, as cited by the Workplace Benefits Report, 2017. This is time spent not doing the job you hired them for, and yet you’re paying for it.
If you are paying 100 full-time employees $20 hour, you could be losing up to $520,000 a year in employee financial stress. This money is a complete loss for your company, but it doesn’t have to be.
2. As employees increase their financial wellness, work productivity increases.
According to Forbes, 84 percent of companies are adding financial wellness programs to their employees’ benefit packages. As a result, companies can expect to see up to a 78 percent increase in employee satisfaction, 70 percent increase in loyalty, 68 percent increase in engagement and 57 percent increase in productivity, as cited in the Workplace Benefits Report, 2015. High-quality employee financial wellness services pay for themselves many times over with what they deliver.
3. Employees welcome quality financial wellness services when provided by their companies.
Eighty-six percent of all employees and 92 percent of millennial employees surveyed will participate in financial wellness services when provided by their companies, according to the Workplace Benefits Report, 2017.
Interestingly, employees’ financial satisfaction is motivated more by a sense of financial wellness than by a higher income, which suggests adding a financial wellness service may be of greater benefit to both companies and their employees than an increased salary. By first offering employees financial fitness services, employees are empowered with a stronger sense of financial wellness. Any future funds spent on salary increases will then better serve both employees’ and companies’ financial goals.
Not all financial wellness services are created equal. To be effective, services must be dynamic and individualized for each employee. Financial literacy training is not enough. A tailored, self-paced program that meets each employee’s current financial concerns is recommended.
In summary, your employees’ financial stress is costing you a share of the annual $250 billion loss in paid wages. It’s a sobering thought as an employer. Are you willing to take steps to fix it?
Kimberly Greenman, Ph.D. is Founder and CEO at Financially Fit Employees