It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began disrupting life as we knew it, and we’re still experiencing significant uncertainty and stress, especially when it comes to our money. In fact, 63% of employees say that their financial stress has increased since the start of the pandemic, according to PwC’s 2021 Employee Financial Wellness Survey. This fragility has significant impacts on our mental health, which inevitably has an impact on how we show up at work.
When employees are suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression due to finances, you can expect lower quality work, daily tasks going unfinished, poorer relationships with coworkers, and increased likelihood that employees will seek other employment. According to Salary Finance, these issues related to financial stress cause employees about $3,000 per employee per year.
Financial wellness at work is a win-win. Employees desperately need the help and companies with financially secure employees are more likely to see increases in productivity, retention, and the company’s bottom line. We live in a financial services industry that has typically excluded the average employee – financial advisors tend to meet with only the affluent, while the average person is left to figure things out on their own or fall victim to predatory practices that can put them in a product or policy that’s not right for them. As such, financial wellness benefits are highly utilized, overwhelmingly appreciated, and make a company stand out, because employees often don’t have other ways of getting this help.
Call to Action/Links to Resources:
Here are some steps you can take to address employee financial health:
- Check out Consumer Financial Protection’s Workplace Financial Wellness guide for a step-by-step playbook in building a financial wellness strategy.
- Communicate how your existing benefits already support financial wellness – oftentimes there are hidden ways employees can use your benefits to add to their financial wellness. For example:
- Employee Assistance Program: see if your EAP is staffed with financial coaches and other ways to support financial stress.
- Legal Benefits: let employees know that they can seek the help of an in-network estate planning attorney to get their estate planning documents done for little to no cost.
- Healthcare: ask your benefits consultant and/or health carrier if they offer education and other materials to explain the financial benefits of contributing to a Health Savings Account.