Eighty percent of employers report that financial stress is lowering their employees’ performance level, and it’s costing them some half a trilliondollars annually. Everything from home loans to student debt is stressing out America’s workforce; many workers don’t feel prepared to fully address these problems. Stress and anxiety cast a cloud over your self-confidence, making it hard for your unique talents to shine through.
What can managers do? Your first responsibility is, of course, to ensure that your company’s compensation packages are better than industry benchmarks, keeping pace with inflation and providing ample paths for upward mobility. But for workers at all pay levels, free financial coaching can be an HR benefit that delivers tangible added value. In fact, financial wellness has become the single most-asked-for benefit in 2019.
Not addressing employees’ financial concerns drains productivity and cash straight from your business because it reduces office morale and causes a significant distraction. It’s important that your company set its employees up for success in every aspect of their lives, and their finances are fundamental to this.
That being said, finances are a personal matter for most, so asking unwanted questions or giving unsolicited advice can backfire. The latest example is Chase Bank’s #MoneyMotivation tweet that recommended brewing your own coffee, eating at home, and not taking taxis as the answer to “Why is my balance so low?” The backlash cast Chase as insensitive and greedy. If your organization is ready to address your employees’ fiscal health in a compassionate, empowering way—echoing your company’s authentic corporate brand—you can take a more effective path:
1. Create the right program for your company.
There’s no magic formula for ensuring your employees’ financial health. Every individual’s situation is going to be different, requiring different solutions and levels of attention. Anonymous polls are good ways to hear each employee’s unique concerns and create a strategy from there. Corporate financial standbys like 401(k)s continue to be relevant in the long term, but plenty of workers need their specific concerns about financial security addressed much more quickly.