Are Your Employees Experiencing Financial Stress? Here Are Five Ways to Tell.
Purchasing Power recently released the infographic “Five Signs of Employee Financial Stress.” Employee financial stress is a concern to employers because it impacts productivity, healthcare costs, and retention.
The five signs are:
- Withdrawing loans against retirement savings
- Asking for payday advances
- Unexpected absences
- Preventable medical issues (ones that could have been avoided through preventive care but the employee didn’t go to the doctor or other care because of cost)
- Spending time dealing with personal finances while at work
Personal Problems Lead to Work Distractions
“In some cases, employees with financial issues don’t have healthy financial habits, so they don’t know how to resolve their situation,” says Elizabeth Halkos, chief revenue officer at Purchasing Power.
“Employers should not only look for these signs of employee financial stress but also provide financial wellness education to help workers change the course of their financial behavior and see a positive impact in the workplace.”
According to a July 2014 Harris Poll on behalf of Purchasing Power, 80% of employees working full-time said they have financial stress today.
“Employees’ financial situations might be personal, but they bring those concerns to work with them, and ultimately, financial stress becomes a distraction while at work,” Halkos explains.
The Harris Poll showed that 33% of employees spend an average of 1.7 hours per week dealing with personal finances at work.
“Employers should proactively address their employees’ current financial stability, as it helps both the employees and the company’s bottom line,” Halkos says.
Financial Wellness Education
A Purchasing Power white paper released in February, “Money Smarts: Helping Employees Make the Grade,” studies the effect financially-stressed employees have on their company and the need for a financial wellness education program. It examines the employer’s role and outlines the elements of a successful financial wellness education initiative.
According to the paper, 40% of employees say they would take advantage of financial wellness education opportunities made available through their or their spouse’s employer.
The white paper notes that some industry experts predict financial wellness is the next big trend.
Worksite wellness is expanding beyond the traditional focus on physical health to include a financial wellness component, helping employees ease economic stress, overcome money challenges, and promote financial health.
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