Financial Stress & Your Employees
Ask any HR manager and they will tell you an employee that brings problems from home to work, will not be an effective employee. HR managers indicate that financial woes are the primary issue distracting employees. When this happens, that employee’s personal issue can cause a problem for the employer….which means the employee’s problems just became much larger.
Every workplace has employees facing financial struggles. According to a survey released last year by Harris Interactive Surveys, 44 percent of people do not have funds set aside to pay for an emergency. Emergency is defined as a sudden expense that costs $2,000. Think about that for a moment.
Basically, half of Americans do not have the financial reserves to pay for a sudden life occurrence, such as a major repair to their car or home, or meeting a high medical deductible. When that life event happens, and it will happen, the paycheck-to-paycheck worker has a problem that is hard to ignore on the job.
When employees carry financial stress these problems are bound to spill over into the workplace:
- Absenteeism – The financially stressed employee will use more sick leave and will miss work more often.
- Presenteeism – When the financially struggling worker is on the job, they will spend time on activities unrelated to their jobs. The Integrated Benefits Institute reports that presenteeism can account for three times more lost work than absenteeism.
- Health Concerns – Distress over financial matters contributes to irritability, anger, fatigue and sleeplessness for 52 percent of Americans.
- Work Conflicts – A worker’s personal issues make them much more prone to be cited for work issues, such as tardiness, incomplete work tasks and have an increased potential to suffer a workplace accident.
- Dissatisfaction – Often, the financially struggling worker becomes dissatisfied with their pay, which can lead to lack of pride and negative feelings about their employment.
The employee’s financial challenges might become known in a number of ways. There might be a wage garnishment order received, the employee might request a pay advance or emergency loan, there might be performance issues, or several of these signs might show up at the same time.
When there are issues, the HR manager can best help his employee by directing him or her to a resource for financial solutions. In Kansas, the place to point the employee for help is Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. HCCI offers an Employee Assistance Program that includes one-on-one financial counseling sessions with a professionally certified counselor, educational sessions about budgeting, housing, debt management and other topics held at your business and ongoing communication through their e-newsletter. The Employee Assistance Program or other HCCI educational sessions can be a valuable asset to your employee benefits package and help protect your business from suffering the effects of financially stressed team members.