Survey data released within the last couple of years shows that a lack of financial wellness is a genuine problem in America. People are not confident about their financial situations to such a degree that it affects everything from workplace productivity to life at home. This is not good.
We have published several other posts discussing ways to encourage financial wellness among workers. We invite you to read them to learn more about this topic. This particular post will deal mainly with the impact financial wellness has on employee performance.
People Are Stressed Out
The impacts of financial wellness can easily be observed just by asking people for their opinions. According to the 2019 Employee Financial Wellness Survey from PwC, people are pretty stressed out these days. Financial problems are a leading cause of that stress.
PwC data indicates that 59% of their survey respondents say financial problems are their biggest source of stress. The second-place stress inducer, a person's job, wasn't even close at just 15%. Relationship issues and health concerns came in at 12% and 10% respectively.
The data doesn't lie. And unfortunately, stress has an impact on the way people behave. Undue stress:
- reduces productivity
- inhibits relationships
- creates a gloomy future outlook
- causes physical and mental health issues.
Stress doesn't only harm employees and their families; it also harms employers. Workers who are not at their best don't do their best for employers or customers. Everyone suffers as a result.
Addressing Financial Wellness
We know that a lack of financial wellness has a negative impact on individuals, their homes, and the workplace. But the opposite is also true. Sound financial wellness eliminates or reduces stress, thereby improving every other aspect of a person's life. As such, pursuing financial wellness strategies is good for both your employees and your company.
Stress-free employees are more mentally and emotionally present. They are more productive over the course of the workday. They have a more positive outlook that rubs off on other employees as well as vendors and customers.
Find out What They Need
The goal here is to encourage your company to get on board with the financial wellness concept. But don't just offer the same old benefits that have not worked so well in the past. Financial wellness is not merely about offering a 401(k) plan and a monthly bonus. In fact, it is not at all about the amount of money a person earns.
If your company really wants to make a difference, reach out to employees. Find out what they need and then tailor the financial wellness program accordingly. Ask the question and you are likely to discover your employees need to better understand budgeting, saving, and using credit properly. They need to know how to avoid things like predatory lending and excessive credit card debt.
We All Have a Role
When you look at the negative impacts the lack of financial wellness is having on society, it becomes clear that the responsibility of solving the problem doesn't rest with just one person or entity. We all have a role. It is going to require a team effort that helps us all better understand what financial wellness actually means.
People have trouble managing money because we have created a culture that actually encourages poor financial management. We can turn that around by embracing the financial wellness concept and then running with it as far as it will take us. Just as the impacts of poor financial wellness are rather negative, the impacts of good financial wellness are equally positive.