Stress at work is already recognized as a damaging influence, and the reason employee well-being is taken so seriously. Of the different sources of stress, finances are the most neglected. But research shows that tending to employee financial wellness can have huge benefits to them and employers alike.
It’s no secret that finances are a common reason for anxiety and stress, but the severity of its impact is alarming. According to a 2015 report from the American Psychological Association (APA), some 72% of working adults stressed about money.
As a result, employers now realize just how valuable financial wellness can be in helping to improve their employees’ well-being. With it has come a renewed interest in developing a meaningful financial wellness programme at work.
These programmes are not exactly new, but many currently offer a limited range of benefits. Young professionals especially, expect a much wider range, including:
- Retirement planning
- Student Loan repayment management
- Short-term financial aid
- Credit score monitoring
- Financial literacy training
- Setting a personal budget
- Handling unexpected financial challenges
- Establishing a will
Why Invest In Employee Financial Wellness?
- Helps Ease Stress
- Improves Productivity At Work
- Frees Up Time For Employees
- It’s What Employees Want
- Improves Engagement Levels
Finances are the source of major stress, so by attending to the anxieties employees might have with money, employers can help to ease stress in the workplace. In fact, statistics show that help in this area of their lives can make a real difference to working adults.
According to a PwC survey in 2017, 35% of workers in the US said they had suffered health issues as a result of financial stress, while 16% admitted that financial concerns had led to them missing days at work, increasing absenteeism rates.
Employee financial wellness, like other forms of employee wellness, can impact on productivity at work. If it’s low, then workers are not able to focus fully on their tasks at work but worries about.
In the same PwC survey, a third of employees who participated admitted that personal financial worries distracted them from their work, and that 46% of that figure spent at least 3 hours each week dealing with those issues instead of working.
Controlling finances is time consuming, requiring careful consideration and strategizing. The problem for employees is the pull between dedicating to work and taking the necessary time to manage work. By offering advice and expertise on how to better manage money, employers can free up valuable time that their employees can spend actually being productive.
A 2015 report from RAND, confirmed that financial worries was the cause of a number of problems that demanded attention away from work, as well as placing time pressures that impacted negatively on employees ensuring an insufficiency in sleep.
One of the most compelling reasons to invest in employee financial wellness is that it’s what employees want. Generally, people are happy to admit they are not a financial genius, and would rather someone else advise them how to managing their money. In 2015, Quantum Workplace published a study on Workplace Well-Being revealing that almost 40% of employees aged 24 and under said they wanted an employer to provide this benefit.
Introducing employee financial wellness programmes creates a more positive working environment, where employees are more willing to engage with management, participate in social and professional events, and go the extra mile to help the company achieve their aims.
In fact, according to the same Workplace Well-Being mentioned above, employees who believe their employers care about their health and well-being are 38% more engaged, boosting not only productivity, but motivation, creativity and co-operation levels.