This is causing increased absenteeism, sickness, loss in productivity which ultimately leads to higher costs
If your employees aren't as productive as you'd like them to be or maybe as they once were, then there is a very high probability it is to do with money. Simply put, as financial stress and workplace performance are linked it's almost impossible for employees to leave this kind of common personal issue at home.
The modern world is both an expensive place to live and one that provides an endless array of products and lifestyles for us to spend our hard earned money. So whether paying off debt, planning for retirement or just clothing and feeding the kids, the general cost of raising a family, running a car or the exciting social lifestyles of those young enough to have a hectic social life, worries about money may be affecting your employees' ability to do their best work, which directly impacts your business.
We can break it down to three clear possible negative effects that an employee’s financial stress can have on your bottom line.
Increased Absenteeism: Financially stressed employees miss almost twice as many days (12) each year compared to their unstressed colleagues according to the Society for Human Resource Management, When workers are missing, key or otherwise, their workload goes undone. This means falling short of production or service levels, stretching resources thin by asking other employees to cover and potentially resulting in even more widespread stress as desperate line managers look to reschedule and reorganise.
Lower Productivity: Financial problems also effect an employee's ability to get even the basic and essential stuff done when they are at work and this is irrelevant of age or experience. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 34% of 35-40yr olds and 37% 25-35yr olds say they're distracted by their finances at work. The PwC report also notes that nearly half of employees spend more than three hours per week distracted by personal finances. This means that even when your employees are present, they aren't working at full capacity.
Health Issues: Financial stress plays a significant role in heart disease, migraines, obesity and accelerated aging. These more serious conditions will clearly cost an employer at a later date if your employees don't have any way of relieving these stresses and could potentially ignore symptoms that become serious over time.
One of the easiest approaches you can take as an employer is to ask directly about their day to day finances. This can be just a general conversation or an ‘off the record’ chat, depending on the relationship between the manager and the length of service of the employee, as while showing interest in employees’ wellbeing may be welcomed in your work environment it may feel intrusive. So be aware that communications around this topic can be sensitive so it’s important to play close attention to how your enquiries are received when approaching or discussing financial issues, irrelevant of intent or position.
So in summary, from skipped days to sick days, the link between financial stress and workplace performance is of the utmost significance to your business. In addition to the damage these factors cause to your profitability and customer service, no employer wants to see anyone in their team suffering, from any kind of stress or serious illness. It is a common and antiquated belief to think that personal finances are best left personal. As a progressive, considerate and staff centric employer of the modern day, there are low cost and easy to deploy services and applications that you can implement to help, including implementing flexible wage applications and financial wellness programs as part of your overall staff benefits and initiatives. Financial health strategies have been shown to improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and contribute towards long term better health. In fact, some studies suggest that a financial wellbeing strategy is the leading incentive program that delivers an instant and quantifiable return on investment.
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