Financially Fit

Share this post

Money makes the world go round, but how many of us really know how to harness its potential? Let’s face it: many otherwise savvy Americans are woefully underinformed about financial issues. In many cases, this leads to stress—stress that doesn’t stay at home, but comes to work with your employees and impacts their performance.

People under extreme financial stress are more than four times as likely to suffer from fatigue, headaches, depression, and other ailments, according to a recent report by the retirement services division of Lockton, a global insurance broker—all of which can affect employee productivity and job satisfaction.

It just makes sense to invest in improving your employees’ financial wellness. Here are four great ways to get started:

  1. Combat financial illiteracy with targeted trainings. Popular topics for trainings include budgeting, saving, investing, and planning for retirement. You can develop these in-house or use other resources. Your benefits broker may be able to steer you toward reputable financial literacy trainers. Education can be delivered in many ways, from on-site lunch-and-learns to one-on-one consultations with financial advisors to online resources such as retirement calculators.
  2. Utilize an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAPs can recommend resources for employees undergoing financial stress. Since an employer isn’t directly involved—EAPs, such as debt management services and credit counseling, are confidential—employees may be more likely to take advantage of these services. Credit counseling can help individuals reduce their monthly debt, create a budget, and improve their ability to save. In some cases, credit counselors work with credit card companies and other loan holders to create reasonable payment plans for people in debt.
  3. Provide a retirement savings account. Supplying a structure for employees to save for retirement can be a powerful tool for employee life satisfaction. By providing a plan such as a 401K, you allow employees to get a jump-start on retirement savings and reduce their taxable income. If your employees are like many others in the U.S., they may have little or no retirement savings at all. This causes anxiety for employees as they near retirement age. Bear in mind that for best results, it’s important to pair your 401K plan with employee education about how to get the most out of it.
  4. Include financial topics within your comprehensive wellness program. Employees are more likely to experience lasting reductions in their levels of financial stress when financial well-being is linked to incentives and other benefit programs you already provide.

Just like any goal associated with behavioral change , such as getting more exercise or eating a healthier diet, financial wellness must ultimately become a part of your workforce culture for it to succeed. Employees must have clear instructions and confidential services to turn to when dealing with major life events that cause financial stress. Whether it’s a parent taking on the financial responsibility of a new child, an anxious middle-aged worker who hasn’t put aside money for retirement, or a recent college grad with overwhelming student loans, access to financial resources is crucial for a happy and healthy workforce.

Dana Lester has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. During her time at Oregon State University, she worked on creating the Green Office Certification Program, which helps campus offices assess themselves for environmental sustainability. She is passionate about holistic wellness, eating fruit, and writing.

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent WorkLife articles:

Why bottle filling stations are better than bottled water
July 3, 2018
The dangers of presenteeism
June 26, 2018
Team chat apps take over the office
June 7, 2018
Getting out of the office can strengthen your team
May 29, 2018
All they want is a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t
May 24, 2018
Creating a mom-friendly office
May 17, 2018
5 tips for managing remote workers effectively
May 8, 2018
Declutter, clean, and decorate your way to a more productive workspace
May 1, 2018
How to set boundaries with social media
April 24, 2018
The employee-retaining magic of doing good
April 10, 2018

More recent articles:

How to keep your favorite fruit fresh through the summer heat
July 19, 2018
Simple ways to keep your skin safe
July 17, 2018
Food:
Sink your teeth into summer stone fruit
July 10, 2018
Everything you need to stay safe from ticks
July 5, 2018
Zero Balancing may be the best bodywork you’ve never heard of
July 3, 2018
Food:
Four ways to ensure you’re making good chocolate choices
June 19, 2018
Food:
Have 10 pounds of strawberries? Here's what to do!
June 1, 2018
Food:
U-pick farms let you harvest your own dinner
May 25, 2018
Use a medicine ball to get in shape for summer racket sports
May 10, 2018
Turn your cubicle into a gym
May 3, 2018

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.