September 1st, 2016
What an awakening surprise!
I recently sat in on one of our LXCouncil groups in Kansas City and listened as Polly Thomas, Director, Employee Benefits and Onsite Clinic Services at CBIZ, presented “From Wellness and Wellbeing: Take a Healthy Look at Your Workplace.”
Don’t judge! This was not some boring seminar on employee benefits. Quite the contrary. If you are not already aware of this trend, as a business owner you may face lost productivity, while falling short of retaining your talent and providing stability – particularly in terms of succession and transition.
Some food for thought:
- As the owner of a company, are you responsible for educating your workforce on financial education? Most owners do not want this role and wonder why they should take on this responsibility, not their employees. The reality is that in today’s marketplace, many employees were not taught financial responsibility in the home and/or never embraced the importance it represents in their lives. As a result the employee is stressed at work and work performance is impacted
- 39% of all employees spend at least 3 hours per week thinking about, or dealing with financial problems at work.
- 1:5 workers report being distracted by financial stress and missed work in the past year to deal with financial issues.
- 6% of employees feel their employers provide adequate help to them
- 57% of employees believe financial education boosts productivity.
- 29% of GenX workers (in their peak earning years) say their personal finances distract them at work.
- 53% of Generation X employees find it stressful to deal with their personal finances (source: PWC Financial Wellness Survey 2015 results).
- 50% of the population is currently financial fragile and could not come up with $2000 in 30 days if required.
- The average millennial graduates with $35,000 in student loan debt.
- Health care costs to you, the employer, goes up 19.5% on average with stressed employees who are not participating or offered some sort of financial wellbeing program.
So what can you do to improve productivity, healthcare costs, and retention of talent? Some business-owner generated suggestions included:
- Have an open dialogue about financial wellbeing with your key personnel. What questions do they have in general about saving, preparing for the future, etc.? Many members felt this was a personal discussion and would be most effective as a one-on-one discussion.
- Consider conducting a formal assessment and ask your employees how satisfied they are currently with each area of wellbeing in their lives.
- Enlist a financial advisor to provide regular seminars and/or workshops for your team to provide basic budgeting information, as well as future planning tips. The key to this is follow up, accountability, and continuous education as employees begin to implement strategies.
Thomas sees a trend toward an inclusion of financial wellbeing in the new hire process, in addition to educating one’s team on how to access resources.
Many free resources are available such as EverFi, a financial education, tracking, and gaming site, or Hello Wallet, which focuses on managing spending and saving.
As an employer, this may seem like just one more thing on your plate to worry about. However, getting in front of this trend can help you to stay connected to your team. Think about how you address financial wellbeing in your company. What is one thing you could do to increase awareness and support for your employees? Something is better than nothing.