The Best Kept Secret to Removing Financial Stress

March 09, 2017

financial stress

Jen Creech

financial stressAccording to the Guardian Workplace Benefits Study1, financial wellness was accounted as a significant issue of working Americans by an average of 40%.  The same study cited money “as the No. 1 source of stress for a majority of workers – followed by job security and physical health.

In the past two years, more workers have also shared that they find it increasingly challenging to meet their financial goals, including saving for retirement or college and managing their debt. However, there is a solution to remove their financial stress. 

Wellness programs are available that can benefit employees yet they are often underutilized.   The same study cited that despite all the wellness programs offered to them, less than half of employees actually participated in them. However, it was also discovered that employees benefit when they are actively involved in these benefit programs. Financial situations account for 33% of stress, and over 80% of those in the survey say that reducing their stress is important to them.

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Two Ways You Can Help Your Business Now at No Cost to You

Building a business takes the complete and total dedication of all involved. Making sure customers are delighted while ensuring you are getting the best return on your investments is paramount to success.

Finding ways to mitigate some costs can be a challenge.  First there is trying to promote your business with a minimal budget while at the same time ensuring that your employees are focused on building your business.

Here are two ways you can help your business now to address these costs:

First, financial stress is a major contributing factor to employee performance. Employees may miss work or not be focused on work because they are addressing a personal financial crisis.  This can be reflected in absenteeism, poor performance or a perceived need for employers to help these stressed employees by providing an ‘advance on their salary’ or a ‘one-time gift.’

To help alleviate this issue, your Company may have access to the FinFit Financial Wellness benefit.   This benefit helps educate and alleviate many of these financial stresses that your employees may be experiencing.  Encouraging your employees to be a part of this voluntary financial wellness benefit could be all they need to allow them to focus more on your business and not ask you for help when they have a financial challenge.

Secondly, your business may need to be heard more in the marketplace.  Today happens to be National Be Heard Day for small businesses.  We want to help you to be heard.

Share this article through social media and use the hashtags #nationalbeheardday and #finfit.  We will like, share and retweet your status update, connecting you to others doing the same thing.  If you happen to see this post after today’s date, that’s ok – we’ll still help you to be heard.

Taking these steps cost you absolutely nothing and can help your business be heard and help your employees become more financially fit, allowing them to focus more on your business.

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9 Compelling Reasons Why Your Employees Need Financial Wellness

43903959_l.jpgThis year, PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey incorporated the views of 1,600 Full-time employed adults, and it marks the first time a decline in specific areas associated with employee financial wellness.[1]

Although the topic of Financial Wellness has been a hot topic within the voluntary benefit industry for the past several years, the biggest issue is associated with financial stress – which has increased to 52% in 2016.  The bottom line, according to the PwC survey, is that “financial wellness is emerging as a key factor in an employee’s overall well-being.[2]

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Employee Financial Stress May Be Costing Your Customers

41317619_l.jpgTo say that Employees are stressed about their finances is an understatement, and their stress could be seriously impacting your customers. According to, “Americans are more worried about their finances than ever, and it’s interfering with our ability to do our jobs.”[1]

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Impact of Financial Wellness on Physical Health

53826340_ml.jpgAccording to the American Psychological Association, stress affects the body in multiple ways.[1]

It has been proven that stress factors, including those caused by financial circumstances, can cause health-related issues such as ulcers, skin conditions, back problems, migraines, depression, anxiety and other mental and physical challenges. In addition, financial stress can result from the amount of debt an individual may have, tuition costs, healthcare expenses, or even how much is being set aside for retirement. 

It has been shown that 62% of Americans lose sleep worrying about their finances.[2]   In addition to the aforementioned conditions, it may also lead to negative habits such as drinking, smoking, and overeating, etc.

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Did you Know your Company’s Success is Inherently Connected to your Employees Finances?

48803715_ml.jpgWe know that financial wellness programs can help employees, but we also know that they can help a business in their overall success by improving their bottom line.

According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans 2016 Survey*, over 83% of Public Employers said that financial stress significantly impacted their employees work performance.  The loss associated with this level of stress has been tabulated at $5,000 per employee per year**. 

Having a comprehensive financial wellness program can help improve a company’s bottom line.   In 2014 the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) discovered that for every dollar spent on implementing a financial wellness program, the ROI would be as much as three dollars.

Here are some simple steps to help you measure your employees’ financial wellness:

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Enhancing the Financial Literacy of your Employees’ Through Employer Benefits

14309969_m.jpgMany Americans go through school to get their degree and then land a job only to discover that they don’t have the necessary knowledge regarding financial literacy.   As a result, these individuals have acquired a significant amount of debt that is a result of their poor fiscal education, and such issues as medical bills and car repairs.

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The Impact of Financial Stress on a Corporation

businesssavings.jpgThe message is clear that a company’s bottom line is at risk due to the financial stress that is impacting their employees’ health and productivity.

With over 70% of working Americans stating that financial stress is the most common cause of stress.* nearly half state that just dealing with their financial situation stressful.**   Financial Stress has been the top stressor for employees' for almost 8 years.***

Productivity suffers when employees' are stressed about their finances.  Left unattended, this stress may lead to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors that can potentially cause an increase in health risks.   Employers bear the burden of the employees’ financial stress in terms of lost productivity and health plan costs.   According to a 2010 study by the Federal Reserve, the cost of financial stress put a dollar value of $5,000 per employee per year.****

Financial Wellness is a path by which an employee has a grasp of where they are financially.  They are also able to identify their fiscal goals and have a map that helps them to reach those goals.   Some of these goals may be to buy a car or a home, or to save for college or retirement. 

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Recover Costs Through Financial Wellness

31905590_ml.jpgThe Department of Labor’s new overtime rules have many businesses concerned as to the cost of accommodating these new standards.   But some of these costs might already be seen in how a company is already doing business, and they might not even know it.

The hidden costs of running a business are those things that no one really thinks about or plans for on a regular basis, not until we see the end of quarter reports and the profits disappearing.   By then those hidden costs may become the standard way of doing business, and may not even be seen until an annual budget review.

But the solution to resolve these costs may be easier than you think.  It may be that employees could be financially stressed.  After all, we’ve shared many times that financially stressed employees spend approximately 20 hours per month at their job worrying and dealing with personal financial issues.   This means an hour a day, five hours a week – they are not focused on their work.  Not only does this impact a company’s profitability, but could also cost relationships that your company has with Vendors, Shareholders, customers… and even other employees.  And according to the American Psychological Association,  64% of Americans report that money is their number one stress.  Just think, if you have 100 employees – 64 of them are dealing with financial stress.

Financial stress also impacts businesses through other means…

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Addressing the Financial Shame

May_Cover.jpgIn the May 2016 edition of The Atlantic, Neal Gabler pours his life out on the table in his article, "The Secret Shame of the Middle Class."

He allows us to see what he has gone through regarding his finances as a writer. We’ve found that his story is repeated time and time again regardless of profession.

He shares that “Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency.  I’m one of them.”   

We commissioned a survey in 2014 that showed:

  • 62% of people questioned have less than $1,000 saved. 
  • 76% of people live paycheck to paycheck.  Including 40% of people who earn more than $100,000.
  • 71% of people questioned say money is their top source of stress.

It’s been a taboo topic in our culture to openly discuss personal fiscal struggles.   We all want to make sure we can pay the bills and provide for our families, and for the most part we are able to without too much hassle.   However, when things in life happen to us, and we can’t cover the cost – we may feel as though we didn’t prepare for it, and so a stigma of shame gets applied.   After all, we’re taught to plan ahead and yet when life happens, it may show you didn’t – so the feelings associated with failure are applied.   But that doesn’t need to be the case. 

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