Financial Stress In America
A recent Career Builder study revealed updated statistics for the financial status of Americans. Highlights from the study include:
- 78 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet
- More than 1 in 4 workers do not set aside any savings each month
- Nearly 3 in 4 workers say they are in debt today – more than half think they will always be
- More than half of minimum wage workers say they have to work more than one job to make ends meet
With those statistics, it is not surprising that in the most recent Employee Financial Wellness Study, 46% of employees cited financial or money matters/challenges as causing them the most stress.
The Effects of Financial Stress
As with all types of stress, financial stress can cause frequent headaches, neck and back pain, weakened immune system, insomnia, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and difficulty making decisions. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) notes that long-term stress causes people to become overwhelmed, feel burnt out and eventually shut down. NIOSH also states that health care costs can increase as much as 50% for employees who are suffering from unresolved stress.
Incorporating A Financial Wellness Program
Do you want to start assisting your employees with their financial stress, but aren’t sure where to start? You are not alone! It can seem like an overwhelming task, but it is well worth it. 57% of employers who started incorporating financial wellness resources saw a noticeable improvement in the productivity of their workforce as whole. Here are some tips to help you incorporate a financial wellness program into your organization!
- Survey your employees so you can learn more about their interests and specific needs related to financial wellness. This will give you a starting point and help you decide what kind of program will be the most beneficial to your employees.
- Focus on the big financial wellness picture. When you get your survey results back, don’t just focus on the number one financial wellness need. Offer multiple resources to address as many needs on the list as possible. Your employees will grow and change over the years, and the needs they put lower on list may become more important down the line. By offering a broad financial wellness strategy, they will have the resources available when they need them.
- Build off your existing wellness program. If you already have a wellness program in place, in you don’t need to make any dramatic changes to it. Instead, build off what is already working and expand your resource base.
A Flexible Benefit
The best part of financial wellness programs is that they are a flexible benefit. They can be offered in many different ways and can be totally customized to your employees’ needs. Whatever method you choose, though, just be sure to offer a way for employees to track their progress. Seeing the results of their financial management will help keep employees motivated as well as help reduce their stress levels. By following these tips, you will help your employees improve their financial situation and their overall health. For more information, visit Benefits Bridge!