We all know that employees don’t leave their personal lives at home. The stresses of home life are a shadow that can have very real consequences for your business.
As a business owner, you are constantly under pressure to compete for customers, and in the current strong job market, the competition for the best employees is also at a peak. Offering your employees, a path to financial peace of mind can help you keep your best talent and keep your best talent focused on their jobs and your customers when they are at work.
According to a survey conducted in 2017 by the Jobsite Career Builder, 78% of American families are living paycheck to paycheck. The Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Household in 2018 found that as many as 39% of households wouldn’t be prepared for a $400 emergency (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 2019). This kind of stress can cause strain on families; chances are good that some of those folks work for you.
Financial stress can lead to loss of sleep, increased absenteeism, lower productivity, and higher health care costs. Additionally, financial difficulties are one of the leading causes of divorce in this country. Divorce is a traumatic, emotionally fraught time that leads to additional stress and distraction while your employees are at work.
Most employers will say that their number one priority is for their workers to get home safely at the end of the day. Knowing that financial stress can lead to daytime fatigue and distractions, both of which are closely linked to safety incidents in the workplace, makes it imperative that we, as business owners care about the financial stress of our workforce.
To help your employees avoid or deal with financial stress, consider one or all of these options:
Offer an Employee Assistance Program or (EAP) – According to the Society for Human Resource Management, an EAP is “An employer-sponsored employee assistance plan (EAP) a work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting their performance at work, such as marital, financial or emotional problems; family issues; or substance or alcohol abuse.” EAPs are a benefit offered by 78% of employers. The quality and scope of EAP services can vary significantly. Additionally, EAPs are not intended to provide long-term assistance, but rather to get the ball rolling and then refer the employee to an external provider. That means your EAP may only be as good as their referral network.
Another benefit option to offer employees is financial coaching. Financial coaches are trained to work with individuals over a longer period of time to help clients address the underlying behavior that created their financial challenges in the first place, as well as to develop and track concrete plans/budgets to get their financial house in order.
Focus on financial wellness as part of your overall wellness program. Many employers offer wellness programs and incentives for exercising, losing weight, and getting healthier. Offering employees and their spouse’s courses on budgeting and other financial topics as part of your wellness program promotes financial fitness and minimizes financial stress.
The benefits of financial stress reduction to your employees and your business are endless. People who see a path out of their financial challenges begin to feel hope for their future and can better focus their attention on their job and your customers. While I don’t know of a study that has demonstrated the correlation of the reduction of financial stress to the increase in productivity, what if it was 5% or even 10%? What if it means you have less employee turnover, produce a higher quality product, and have happier customers? Clearly, good health means good business. When your employees enjoy physical, emotional, and financial health, there’s a good chance your bottom line will be healthy, too!
If you’d like to learn more about how to reduce financial stress in your workplace, contact Kindra Walker at 484-22-2957 or at TremontFinancialCoaching.com