Money is not the most important thing in life, but it certainly makes a difference. The results of a recent SunTrust survey revealed that 75% of Americans are under some type of financial stress. Whether the pressure is caused by debt, a pile of unpaid medical bills or uncertainty about their retirement savings, these struggles can seriously impact a person’s work.
The report “Financial Education for Today’s Workforce: 2016 Survey Results” — by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) — revealed exactly how this strain effects employees. In total, four out of five employers reported that staffers’ personal financial issues negatively impact their performance. Specifically, 76% believe these employees are under a greater amount of stress, 60% said they are unable to focus at work and 34% noticed a rise in absenteeism and tardiness.
Four Ways to Help Employees Under Financial Duress
1. Provide Tuition Reimbursement
For the 2016-17 school year, the average cost of tuition and board at a public 4-year, in-state school was $20,090 annually, according to The College Board. Aside from paying off personal tuition debt, 51% of employees are stressed about saving or paying for their children’s education, as stated in the aforementioned IFEBP report. Consider offering tuition reimbursement and if possible, extending the program to include eligible dependents.
2. Offer an Employee Assistance Program
Many companies offer an employee assistance program to help employees deal with a slew of personal problems — including financial struggles. Sign your organization up for a program, so employees suffering from money woes can have access to complimentary counseling and education programs that could change their lives for the better.
3. Institute a 401(k) Match
Venturing into retirement without a giant nest egg is a terrifying thought for most people. In fact, the IFEBP report revealed that 60% of employees are stressed about saving for retirement. If you have the funds to do so, ease their minds by instituting an employer match program. This is a great way for people to quickly boost their retirement savings and feel more confident about their golden years.
4. Reevaluate Employee Salaries
While some people are simply bad at managing money, many do their best to be responsible. If your employees are seeking opportunities elsewhere or have to work two jobs to make ends meet, you might be underpaying them. Conduct an analysis using tools like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Salary.com to see if your team deserves more than what you are currently paying.
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