By Richelle Delia, PhD
Financial wellness is a relatively new buzzword that focuses on a person’s knowledge of the personal financial topics and their ability to successfully navigate financial decisions. It pertains an individual’s ability to understand and choose financial products, services and mechanisms to best allow them to reach their goals taking the ebbs and flows of life into context.
Even if your business is not in the financial sector, get to know these five facts about financial wellness to create a supportive workplace and maintain staff productivity.
- A lack of financial wellness means loss of productivity for your business.
The media constantly reminds us about the poor financial situation many Americans face. It is no secret that the average American is saddled with debt and lacks enough savings to weather even a minor financial hiccup.
The sobering reality of stress and anxiety distracts workers from being productive in the workplace. Employees concerned about their own personal financial situation find it difficult to focus on their work and tend to be less engaged, which means fewer dollars to your bottom line.
2. Financial wellness and mental health are closely related
When a person feels out of control financially, adverse behavior may begin to impact other areas of their lives. Mental strain from financial concerns can pour into relationships and even affect physical health.
In fact, financial stressors have been linked to migraines, depression and insomnia. High levels of stress increase the likelihood of negative thoughts, self-criticism and feelings of hopelessness.
Business owners may read these insights and think that an employee’s personal financial situation is not their problem. In fact, the adverse effects that arise from a lack of financial wellbeing have a direct effect on the bottom line. Poor financial literacy has been associated with increased absences from work and a decrease in overall engagement in the workplace. What’s more is that the latent stress of working under personal financial strain can lead to decreased cognitive ability.
3. Financial wellness solutions are easy to implement.
The good news is you can take simple steps to help your employees and community take charge of their finances. Implementing financial wellness solutions may be as simple or elaborate as you desire.
You may consider bringing in experts on budgeting and saving for college for a speaking engagement or to host an interactive workshop. You could take it a step further by offering financial counseling or even subscribing to a corporate financial wellness seminar series that includes regular follow-ups.
Be sure to check with your benefits offerings to explore any financial wellness solutions they may already provide.
Regardless of how you choose to incorporate financial literacy in your business, your employees will take notice.
4. Financial wellness helps with employee engagement.
Implementing any of the strategies outlined above can serve as an effective employee retention strategy. Today’s employee is not loyal to any particular company. Instead they gravitate to employers that provide the best working situation for their lifestyle.
Financial literacy resources can be attractive for groups that face difficulty navigating tough financial decisions on their own. Consider millennials who face a mountain of student debt. Or baby boomers still trying to recover from losses of the Great Recession.
Let’s be honest, a financially literate person is better equipped to make better financial decisions for themselves and the business. Improving your company’s bottom line is everyone’s job. All businesses benefit from employees that leverage strong financial fundamentals to support their ideas and prioritize initiatives.
5. Financial wellness is a simple way to enhance company culture by showing that you care.
To summarize, offering financial literacy resources lets employees know that you care about their personal well-being and ability to bring their whole selves into the workplace.
Improving financial literacy is a team sport. Employees are known to thrive in cultures that support who they are both inside and outside the office. Today’s small businesses seek to deliver differentiated value in the marketplace.
Take these ideas into consideration as you look to set yourself apart from other potential employers to recruit and maintain the brightest talent available.
Richelle Delia, PhD, is the co-founder of Housing Joint Venture, a private community of professionals who seek to improve the urban landscape with mission-first investments.