Financial Stress Management is costing employers dearly — to the tune of $250 billion in 2019 alone. I Financial Stress Management is one of the many reasons why financial wellness programs are fast becoming a must-have employee benefit or a must-consider benefit.
Financial stress management programs are designed to reduce employees’ financial stress to help them manage their money better, with employers providing tools and support to assist them in achieving their goals. A recent article in Employee Benefit Adviser written by Craig Rubino, Vice President, E-Trade Financial Corporate Services, noted that offering a financial wellness program on its own might not be enough: “But rather than simply adding a new product or vendor to your offerings, consider a gut check on vision: Are you positioned to help address the complete range of participant financial, mental and physical health needs? If not, your bottom line may be poised for pain.”
Employee financial stress management is taking a toll on both workers and employers. According to a recent MetLife report, one in three workers said employee financial stress management got in the way of their on-the-job performance, and overall, they said employee financial stress management was the main source of worry in their lives. In addition, lost productivity due to employee financial stress cost employers roughly 1,922 hours and $28,830 in lost weekly productivity in a company of 10,000 employees — or a total loss of 99,944 hours and $1,499,160.
According to Mr. Rubino, employers can create more effective financial wellness benefits by recognizing the needs underlying employee financial stress management. For instance, Millennials and Gen Xers worry most about not having an emergency fund. And half of all employees, regardless of generation, are living paycheck to paycheck. Workers are looking to employers for help when it comes to dealing with employee financial stress management, and they recognize benefits as a viable solution to some of their concerns: 37% of Millennials cited student loan repayment assistance as the employee benefit they coveted most, while financial wellness with access to financial counselors tops the list for 30% of Gen Xers and 28% of Baby Boomers. The solutions to employee financial stress management are as many and varied as the workforce, but there is one common thread, Mr. Rubino observed: “From short-term budgeting to long-term saving — and everything in between — participants are looking to their benefit plans for help. Increasing participant offerings and promoting engagement could be a powerful step toward helping participants achieve their financial goals.”