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Offering financial wellness education could improve employee productivity

Jan. 29, 2019
Employees want more opportunities in the work place to learn more about finances.

Did you know that financial stress impacts health, quality of life and productivity in the workplace? Lou Ressler, of Associated Financial Group, a financial services firm, speaking at a recent NationaLease meeting cited statistics from an ORC International survey which showed that financial stress costs U.S. businesses $300 billion annually. That equals a $1,685 annual productivity loss per employee due to employee health problems.

Ressler used the term “presenteesim,” which means lost productivity by workers whose quality of work suffers due to illness or stress. In fact, he says this loss costs employers two to three times more than direct medical care in the form of insurance premiums or employee claims.

He cited additional statistics that said that employees with high levels of stress have 46% higher health care costs than employees with lower stress levels. Even more interesting is the fact that lack of education about financial matters relates to an increase in stress. When it comes to financial education, employees at organizations that did not offer financial education had stress levels 10% higher than those that were educated about finances.

If you are not currently offering your employees financial wellness education, you might want to consider adding it to your training plans. Employees indicated that they want a financial wellness program that covers everything from debt management, investments, college planning, and home buying to trusts/will, life insurance, and retirement.

According to Ressler, employees want a program that can reduce their financial stress and improve their retirement outcomes.

The following tips will help your financial wellness education program be successful:

  • It’s easy to follow
  • Goals are set
  • Content is engaging
  • Group size is small
  • Provides connection with financial institutions
  • Includes budgeting tools
  • Includes savings calculators
  • Provides access to professional advice

In general, the program needs to include a financial wellness and goal setting assessment, a personalized financial plan, and multi-faceted individualized guidance.

Given that a PwC survey indicated that 25% of workers report that financial stress distracts them from work, investing in a financial wellness education for your employees can pay big dividends.

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