Personal financial stress is a growing problem for the workforce. At least 55% of employees aren’t fully engaged while at work. This means that companies face an increasing amount of wasted time while their team is on the clock. Helping workers overcome personal financial challenges helps both the employer and the employee. Today, more than ever, a business’ success depends on the personal development and success of its team members. Since 80% of employee learning takes place while at work, it makes sense for employers to offer a financial wellness program to their team. It’s a win-win for both parties. The worker learns how to get rid of financial stress, and the company gains a productive, more focused team member. Plus, implementing a wellness benefit is easier than most companies think!
The first step in dealing with employee financial stress is recognizing the cause versus the symptoms. If an employer can only identify the symptoms of financial stress, then it’s too late. It’s important for the company to know what causes their team members to become stressed about personal finances.
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One main reason for financial stress is poor money management. If a person has never been taught how to handle money, then they have no way of knowing the dos and don’ts of money management. Society teaches that debt is a necessary part of life. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Debt only hinders individuals from truly managing their money in a way that is beneficial for them—not society. If employees are taught that debt is the only way, then what happens when they miss one credit card payment or one car lease payment? They suddenly get behind on their monthly payments and grow more and more stressed about their current financial situation.
In turn, this hurts the company, because they see an increase in payroll advances, collection calls, absenteeism, 401(k) loans, and turnover rates. According to Dr. Thomas Garman, a Virginia Tech professor, “Workers waste 20 hours of company time a month thinking about and dealing with personal finances.” In addition to that, 40% of employees admit that personal stress affects their productivity at work. But how many do not admit it? Only recognizing the symptoms of financial stress is not the answer. Companies need to understand the cause in order to get to the root of the problem.
Get to the Root
Offering an investment seminar to employees is only a temporary solution. It is a bandage that offers no lasting effects or results. In a matter of weeks—or sometimes even days—team members will once again show signs of personal financial stress.
The real solution is behavior modification. This will help workers capture the full power of their income. Personal finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge. When a company’s human resources department offers an employee benefits package that includes a financial wellness program, huge results happen! Employees learn to manage their money and appreciate the benefit offered from their company. Team members who are no longer stressed about their personal finances are more likely to stay focused at work, creating an increase in productivity. Companies also experience higher morale and loyalty and less turnover.
An employer’s commitment to offering a financial wellness program to their team is vital to the success of both the company and the employees. Plus, a financial wellness program coincides perfectly with a physical wellness benefit. If a company has committed to providing a benefits package that includes physical wellness, financial wellness will make an excellent addition to the package.
Unless an employer wants to see employees stressed about personal finances, wasting time at work, and being less productive at their job, offering an employee benefits package that includes a financial wellness program only makes sense! With nothing to lose but the stress of a team member’s personal financial problems, it’s the perfect way for a company to show workers that they really do care about their wellbeing.
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