How Personal Financial Strain Can Add Unseen Risks to your Company

Your employees’ lack of personal financial wellness could be making your company sick. Money isn’t something we often talk about with our colleagues. It is usually seen as a personal matter. However, financial concerns are one of the top causes of stress for Americans across age groups, gender, and social status. The far reaching effects of this stress can impact your bottom line—and put your business at risk.

How Much Does it Cost?

According to a study by the Olson Group, employers can lose up to $250 billion a year due to the financial stress of their employees. In fact, the average worker spends about three hours of their work day dealing with personal money matters. When people are stressed, they are more likely to be absent, have their wages garnished, and delay retirement. Even more shocking, about 5% of a company’s total payroll is at risk due to these factors. People in tight situations may act out of character if pushed to the brink, stealing from the company, selling assets or trade secrets, or other illegal activities.

Finances are Taboo

Most people don’t like talking about money. It’s an uncomfortable subject, especially in the workplace. But studies show over half of U.S. workers are stressed about money. This means many of your employees are silently dealing with these issues and don’t know where to turn. Break down the barriers and be open and honest about these concerns. Most people have had personal financial difficulties at some point in their lives. Sharing stories helps your workers feel more connected, making reaching out easier.

Worries Vary

Depending on the age, social group, and gender of the person, money woes can be very different. Millions of young people are strapped with student loan debt. Those close to retirement may be caring for an elderly parent and cannot afford to leave. Part-time or temporary workers who do not receive benefits may be forced to make hard choices when it comes to their healthcare. Many companies have programs in place for their staff, but they are not always effective. Some programs focus on one subject over other more relevant issues, others may be geared to what the employer thinks is valuable rather than the employee. If the services don’t match the need, they are less likely to be used.

Get on the Same Page

If you want to help your workers get smarter about their finances, you must meet them where they are. Survey your employees to find out what their biggest concerns are and tailor the program those needs. Companies that have built successful financial wellness programs have found improved employee loyalty, higher productivity, and improved job satisfaction. For instance, after joining a financial wellness program, those who said they were “highly stressed” about personal finances fell from 52% to 19%. Consider some of these programs to see if they are a good fit for your company. For a healthier and happier workforce, and to reduce the risk of loss at your company, consider a financial wellness program to get your staff money wise!

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