Keeping employees engaged and productive at work is an uphill battle when they’re stressed out by personal finance. Two recent surveys show that HR professionals and employees alike think employee preoccupation with money issues has grown worse in the past 12 months, with damaging consequences.
Employee financial stress is harming productivity at work
In January the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) questioned HR professionals about how employee work habits were impacted by personal financial anxiety. Of the negative effects financial stress has on employees, HR professionals cited these as the top problems:
- The ability to focus on work (47%).
- Overall stress levels (46%)
- General productivity (26%)
Health and Financial Benefits, New Employment Orientation and Open Enrollment Covered
GuideSpark’s brilliant Content Development team has designed five new demo videos to give you a better idea of how you could be using video to engage your employees on benefits-related topics. All of these topics are covered in the GuideSpark Benefit Video Library.
- High Deductible Health Plan with Health Savings Account (HSA) – shows employees how HSAs can be a good way to get the right health benefits while saving money.
- 401(k) – discusses contribution matching, traditional vs Roth, investment options and more.
- Making Your Money Work – covers basic information on Credit Scores, how they affect financial wellness and how to improve them.
Last year it was 70. Now 80 is the “new 65”.
Middle class America is expecting to push out full retirement even later due to financial worries. We’re also expecting to have to save more. Yet almost half of us haven’t worked out how long we can last on what we’ve got already.
According to Wells Fargo’s new survey:
- Almost half said that they expected to continue in the same job or a similar job of similar responsibility (expecting the same income level, we presume).
- More than half said they need to significantly cut back on spending now to save for retirement.
A recent study by Fidelity and the NBGH revealed that employer spending on wellness programs grew 43% to $154/employee in 2010. This level of growth and investment provides evidence that wellness
Start with a Financial Health Assessment
initiatives are: (1) becoming much more comprehensive and (2) demonstrating tangible business value.
In our own experiences with HR professionals, we see the expansion every day. Wellness strategies are evolving and many employers are looking to better understand how employee money issues are impacting the productivity of their organization.
Sound overwhelming? Well, it doesn’t have to be.
Historically, presenteeism has been a word used to describe sick employees
Financial Wellness ROI
who “tough it out” and come to work but operate far below normal productivity. But, there are many types of presenteeism. There could be any number of reasons why an employee checks out and productivity suffers. And, while presenteeism is a relatively new term, you likely have some established policies in place for helping employees stay focused at work. For instance, over half of US companies have blocked access to Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Presenteeism, in its entirety, is a huge productivity issue that far exceeds that of absenteeism.
MetLife released its 8th installment of its Annual Study of Benefits Trends on Monday. In comparison to prior
Employee financial issues a central theme in this year's survey
years, the themes of employee financial security and benefits communications played a more prominent role than ever before. This was a natural emphasis given the backdrop of economic volatility and a renewed employer focus on benefits cost control.
We wanted to highlight and provide my perspective on three key points that came out of this year’s study:
Back in 2000, April was declared “Financial Literacy for Youth Month.” Now, it’s just “Financial Literacy Month.” Over the course of the last decade, it seems that us grown ups have shown that we really don’t know much more about money than our kids do – and therefore the Senate decided to drop the “youth” bit and include us adults in their call for better financial education.
Using credit for money
Just last week, the Senate approved legislation increasing the federal government’s borrowing limit by $1.9 trillion. When signed into law the federal government will be able to borrow more money than at any time in our country’s history, making our total national debt a mind numbing $14.3 trillion. And this will only allow us to pay our bills through 2010!
Putting this into perspective, according to the Heritage Foundation the federal government will take in an estimated $2.19 trillion of taxes in 2009. Simple math tells us that owing $14.3T while collecting “only”$2.19T is not a recipe for fiscal health. So last week’s vote was essentially the Senate’s way of literally, passing the buck. Recent groundbreaking election results indicate that American’s are telling elected officials to stop this madness.
In an upcoming Webcast, financial wellness experts from GuideSpark will discuss the increasing need for employers to address employee financial education and health – while realizing a return on investment of over 3:1.
Poor employee financial health is having a negative impact on organizational objectives and productivity. Four out of five employees in financial distress spend time at work dealing with such financial issues – resulting in a 12 to 20 hour drain on productivity – each month.
“The Need for Financial Wellness” webcast is scheduled for Tuesday, December 8 at 11:00 a.m. PST. John Wolff, vice president of business development, will discuss the issues of employee financial health, and ways employers can address this growing problem.
Employee financial health issues are negatively impacting key organizational objectives and should be a key priority among employers, advises GuideSpark.
Forward-thinking companies that implement financial wellness initiatives can expect a return on investment of over 3:1, according to recent studies.
In its new white paper, “The Need for Financial Wellness,” experts from GuideSpark (formerly ThriveOn) discuss the advantages available to companies that take ownership of the financial health and wellness of their employees.
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