The time around the holidays—and in the weeks that follow— financial stress often becomes a pressing weight in our employees’ lives. Perhaps it is due to the amount of money flowing in and out during the course of a short period of time in the form of bonuses, wages, gift buying, monthly bills and other year-end payments.
Financial stress can be a detriment to productivity and can negatively impact the bottom-line when present amongst staff members. Examples include distraction during work hours, emotional sensitivity and even outbursts, missed work and increased group health care costs due to health issues related to stress.
Households infrequently discuss their financial wellness, which leads to additional issues. Employers can offer support by offering resources to educate employees and help them get through fiscally rough patches in their lives. Here are a few ways employers can help:
What’s in a Pay Check?
How often do we get our check or pay stub and only look at the net amount (which is the amount we have left to spend after deductions)? Employers should create annual lunch ‘n learns to educate employees on where their earned income goes—from withholding taxes to health premium contributions. As employees begin to understand where their money goes before they touch it, they might pay a little more attention as to where they spend the amount remaining in their check.
Retirement Plan Education
Many companies have retirement plans available to their employees. Sometime between attending school and bringing home our very first pay check, many of us have not learned how to spend wisely, save and invest our earned dollars. Employers have a tremendous opportunity to promote financial education and provide resources through their retirement plan vendor. This can be in the form of quarterly financial seminars, financial articles, budget calculators, weekly tips, webinars, etc.
Employee Assistance Program
Each of us go through something financially significant in our personal lives; whether it be buying a home for the first time, having a baby, planning for an upcoming retirement, divorce, the loss of a loved one, or coming to the realization that the financial hole we’ve dug is too deep. Each of these instances has some sort of financial repercussion that will not easily work itself out and occasionally we need help from others. If we do not receive help, stress may spill over into the office in the form of mental distractions or absenteeism. To address some of these events, employers can offer a service called an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that employees can access when these events occur. It provides a cost-effective connection with a third-party, certified professional counselor that is completely confidential. The purpose is to provide employees with someone to go to other than their friends, family or co-workers; because, oftentimes, people want to keep issues to themselves. In addition to counseling and stress support, EAPs can provide access to certified legal and financial experts as well.
For additional ideas on supporting your employees’ financial well-being, please contact Xenium at 503-612-1555.
Image courtesy of Flickr / teegardin