Workplace Financial Wellness: Your Employees Have Money on Their Minds

By:Denise Keiser AFC®, Counseling Programs Manager

Money worries are so prevalent in our day-to-day lives that music artists like hip hop Snoop Dogg rap about them regularly, as the following excerpt from the lyrics of his infamous hit song Gin and Juice reference here:

“With my mind on my money and my money on my mind”

While rapping or singing about money is the second most common theme among music artists (love is the most popular theme), it shouldn’t be surprising then that money problems follow people everywhere they go, including when they go to work.  You might be wondering what Snoop’s money lyrics have to do with a workplace financial wellness program? Well, like Snoop, employees have their mind on their money too, even while they’re on the job.

Employees are struggling financially.

Over 70% of American workers living paycheck to paycheck, according to results from the 2019 “Getting Paid In America” survey conducted by the American Payroll Association (APA). That means that seven of every ten employees bring their money worries to work every single day. Worse yet, if an emergency strikes, employees have little or no savings to fall back on. It’s not enough that money problems stress employees out, all of the time. Employee concerns about money also lower productivity while on the job and often increase the likelihood that employees will miss work. Money woes also account for many employee’s inabilities to save for retirement. After all, if people don’t have enough disposable income to make ends meet, how can they fund their 401k plans for retirement?

How can a workplace financial wellness program help employees with their money problems?

The good news is that once people get control of their money problems, they often have less financial stress in their lives. The trouble is, most people just don’t know where to start. Connecting employees in the workplace with financial education can offer a starting point. When employees have an opportunity to commit to a financial wellness program, they can acquire the skills and knowledge they need to build better money habits so that they will have less stress about their money – at home and while on the job.  While most people don’t want anyone, especially their employer or coworkers, to know about their money problems, most financial wellness programs are offered by third-party providers like BALANCE and are included in employee benefits. Most importantly, the results of the program remain confidential between the employee and the provider. Moreover, the workplace already serves as a place where most people make some very important decisions about their money. At work, employees decide to secure health care or life insurance plans, whether or not they can afford to save for retirement, or how much they should set aside for child care or medical expenses through specialized savings plans.  With this natural connection between the workplace and employees’ financial decision making opportunities, offering a financial wellness program in the workplace make sense. Incorporating financial education into employee benefits programming offers employees the chance to acquire important skillsets that help them make smart decisions in their financial lives. It also offers employers a chance to play a vital role in helping to shape better futures for their employees and their families. Many employers are already offering workplace financial wellness programs. In fact, organizations that offer financial education in the workplace report a 67% overall success rate, according to the “Financial Education for Today’s Workforce: 2016 Survey,” published by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans.

Consider implementing your own workplace financial wellness program.

You can help employees gain control of their money matters and build better futures for themselves and their families. As a result, you’ll likely see a return on investment that includes higher productivity rates, higher presentism, lower absenteeism, and lower turn-over — a win-win for you the employer and your workforce!
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