Undue stress has a negative effect on health and a net-negative effect on the workplace. Certified Employee Benefits Specialist Stephen Miller cited a number of studies around the effects of financial stress on the workplace in his 2016 SHRM report “Employees’ Financial Issues Affect Their Job Performance.” When employees are stressed, they are more likely to suffer fatigue and other ailments, resulting in sick days and decreased output. Research from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) found these five areas topped employees’ concerns: debt, retirement, children’s education expenses, basic living expenses, and medical costs.
According to the National Financial Educators Council, the average U.S. citizen lacks basic financial knowledge required to make qualified financial decisions. The predicament has not gone unnoticed by employers who monitor closely the ebb and flow of production, especially the direct correlation between health and productivity.
To offset the ill effects of financial stress on workers and productivity, the workplace trend has an increasing number of large- and mid-sized companies including financial education as part of their wellness benefits offerings. Carla Dearing, CEO of SUM180, labeled 2017 the year of financial wellness. Her sentiment is affirmed by many surveys, including one by the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments reported in Forbes, which found employer-sponsored financial wellness programs up eight percent between 2016 and 2017.