Your employees are stressed about finances. How can you help?

Despite being coined as a fresh start to a new year, for many people, January can be the toughest month of the year. Not only are the fun, social, and/or busy holidays over, due to (often unreasonable) personal pressure to turn over a new leaf and finances (in large part due to holiday spending), January can be incredibly stressful. That stress is particularly poignant this year, with inflation and a still-looming recession.

Although we’re often expected to take on projects with renewed vigor, at the start of a new year, many people are simply emotionally and financially drained. This can lead to depression, stress, illness, and adversely impacted productivity.

How concerned are employees about their finances?

Research done late last year indicates that employees are more stressed than ever regarding their financial well-being.

A study done by Ceridian, for example, found that 82% of employees surveyed (4,232 across Canada and the US) worry about their finances every day, with 61% being more stressed than a year ago (and the highest since 2008). This reality has led 78% to seek raises or promotions, 54% to dip into emergency funds, and 33% to look for a second job or supplemental income.

Other surveys conducted by the National Payroll Institute and TalentLMS (and as reported by HR Reporter) indicate that, of employees surveyed:

  • 54% are living paycheque-to-paycheque;
  • 11% are going into debt;
  • 62% have delayed retirement, and 54% are planning to do so.

When employees are worried and stressed about their finances, it not only impacts their own well-being, but also that of workplaces, due to turnover and lost productivity. 

Why should, and how can, employers support employee financial well-being?

When employers intentionally focus on and support the financial well-being of their people (beyond the paycheque), they positively impact productivity, performance, engagement, and retention. This, in turn, affects overall morale/culture, customer satisfaction, product/service delivery, and ultimately, their bottom line. Some of the ways you can support your employees include:

  • Providing financial wellness and literacy benefits and workshops;
  • Offering retirement savings programs/matching to offset taxes and help save for the future;
  • Providing employee assistance programs that provide financial information and resources;
  • Revisiting mental health-oriented benefits to ensure they meet the needs of employees in a cost-effective and flexible way (e.g., if employees are needing to use counselors or paramedical practitioners more often due to stress, is $500 per year enough?);
  • Providing benefits that offset major expenses (e.g., parking, childcare, allowing remote work);
  • Allowing access to pay employees more often/on demand using programs like Dayforce Wallet;
  • Supporting employees to work on intentions/goals related to financial and overall well-being; and
  • Communicating and making it a safe space for employees to share concerns, checking in regularly, and asking them what they need; refer to our recent post for additional thoughts on this.  

If you or your family members have been more worried or stressed than usual about your financial well-being, you can bet that some (or many) of your employees are as well. Making an intentional effort to support them through these tough financial times benefits everyone.

Let Jouta’s HR Consultants support you to best support your people.