We talk a lot about employee stress here, so we'd be remiss to avoid talking about financial stress, too. 72% of Americans report feelings stressed about money, according to the American Psychological Association. And a study from Prudential reports that "39% of employees spend three hours or more each week dealing with issues related to personal finance."
It's reasons like these that companies are turning to financial support programs to help lower employee stress. Here's how those programs work.
Financial Wellness Programs in the Workplace
Companies are looking at financial wellness programs for their employees as a way to reduce employee stress. When employees bring their stress from money issues into the workplace, they are distracted and unable to perform their jobs as well -- just as they would be distracted by personal issues at home, an injury, or illness
This is why companies are including financial wellness programs as part of a well-rounded benefits package.
What is financial wellness for employees?
Though the programs can come in many forms, here's what most financial wellness programs at work help employees do:
- Understand and manage personal finances
- Create and use budgets and savings plans
- Map out plans to get out of debt and avoid bankruptcy
- Plan for medical and health care spending
- Learn about investing
- Understand how to make the most of their retirement plans
Most financial wellness programs are offered through an outside resource who can give unbiased advice on employees' money management. This provides a safer place for employees to discuss their personal financial stresses.
Typically, companies that provide the service for their employees cover all costs, so it's not another expense for employees to worry about.
The program might take place during the lunch hour, on selected evenings after work, on during a weekend seminar. Some aspects include an online component, as well. This makes it an easily accessed resource for employees to help create better money habits.
Resources for workplace financial wellness programs
If you're interested in learning more about the effectiveness of these programs, check out this report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It has some great case studies of companies who have used financial wellness programs.