What are the biggest workplace distractions? You might suspect Facebook, texting or personal phone calls. But one of the worst distractions may be something weighing on employees’ minds — financial problems. When employees feel stressed and insecure about their finances, it can be difficult to focus and be successful at work.|
A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests that the issue of money is one of the most significant distractions for employees during working hours. Seventy percent of surveyed human resources (HR) professionals said that personal financial challenges have a large impact, or at least some impact, on their employees’ performance.*
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Financial stressors for employees
The financial challenges facing employees can be wide-ranging, from credit card debt and medical costs to child care and elder care expenses. The personal financial challenges affecting employees most (according to surveyed HR professionals):*
While there’s no simple solution, employers can provide access to tools and resources to empower employees to handle financial challenges. More than one-half of organizations (57 percent) provide financial education to employees, according to the SHRM survey.* Of those organizations that provide financial education to employees:
- Difficulty paying medical expenses.
- Lack of funds to cover personal expenses.
Retirement planning and employee assistance programs (EAPs) with financial counseling resources are the most common types of financial education. Other educational programs such as health care costs planning and credit repair counseling can empower employees to take action instead of feeling overwhelmed by stress.
- 61 percent offer seminars during work hours led by outside speakers.
- 51 percent provide brochures and pamphlets.
- 44 percent use new-hire employee orientation.
- 36 percent use self-directed e-learning or Intranet.
- 25 percent provide seminars during work hours led by in-house staff.
- 23 percent use an in-house newsletter.
- 20 percent offer seminars outside of work hours.
Ramp up education resources
Investing in employee financial wellness doesn’t have to be costly, but the resources you offer should be well-communicated. Building awareness is essential so that employees throughout the organization know how to get help if they need it.
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* Source: Society for Human Resource Management, “Financial Wellness in the Workplace,” May 2014