Employers could be doing more to help their employees’ allay stress, according to a survey of business owners and professionals. A report released at the end of May by FinFit, which provides financial wellness solutions, found 78% of respondents don’t offer a loan program to help employees deal with emergency situations, even though almost half said financial stress has sometimes affected their employees’ ability to work.
In fact, over 86% of respondents said that financial stress has had some effect on their workers’ productivity, with 14% saying financial stress “very often” affects employees’ ability to work.
“Even if you’re making a decent salary, it is difficult to concentrate on work when you’re worrying about how to pay this month’s bills, or to find the money to cover a health emergency, a necessary car repair so you can travel to work, or an educational expense for a child,” David Kilby, president of FinFit, said in a statement. “We are seeing more employers recognizing that this is a real issue and as a result, starting to think about possible solutions.”
Over 70% of respondents, who were business owners or executives at companies with 200-500 employees, acknowledged that more of their employees are living paycheck to paycheck.
Part of the challenge is just that many employers are unaware of the benefits available in a financial wellness program, but another aspect is privacy.
“The second most commented challenge relative to having these types of programs in the employer work force is the employer is hesitant about getting involved in the employee’s personal finances,” Kilby told ThinkAdvisor on Monday. “They don’t recognize the impact that the challenges for that particular employee are having on the organization. It’s an awareness process more than it is a development process.”