Published Date: 07/21/2014
By Pat Rountree
Why should employers be interested in helping employees with their financial wellness? Because stress over financial problems can have impact at work in the form of absenteeism, decreased productivity, garnishments and potential increases in health care costs.
A recent SHRM survey of HR professionals reported that more than 60 percent indicated employees were more likely to take defined contribution plan loans this year than previous years. Financial stressors can affect employees of all ages: paying off student loan debts; planning a family and buying a home; parents saving for college; and older workers planning for retirement. Others may be recovering from layoffs and unemployment that had lasting effects.
By providing financial wellness resources, employers can give their employees the tools for financial planning to relieve the immediate stresses and plan for the future. According to the CEO of Financial Finesse, employers should consider employees at all income levels of the company and provide resources customized to their needs.
While budgeting and saving affect employees at all levels, it is suggested you survey employees about their needs or interests to target the resources you provide. The SHRM survey of HR professionals at companies who offer financial education showed that Millennial and Gen X employees were more interested in budgeting and financial investment planning, while Boomers were more interested in retirement planning.
Resources provided by employers surveyed included outside speakers at lunch and learn type events or during working hours, EAP resources, and pamphlets or paper resources. Financial Finesse recommended using a Certified Financial Planner because they educate employees and there is no conflict of interest because they do not promote individual products.
The US Department of Labor offers some resources that you may want to check out and consider sharing with employees: