Financial Literacy Could Increase Workers’ Performance, Reduce Job Strain

23 Apr

Workers may not be productive at work when they are worried about finances.

Even though the recession is over, many employees may still be feeling the impact of the economic downturn. While human resources professionals aren't often privy to workers' financial problems, a new infographic from e-retailer Purchasing Power in honor of Financial Literacy Month highlighted that employees' monetary well-being affects their productivity and performance, not to mention their employers' overall success. According to an article in TLNT, companies may be partly responsible for creating additional financial strain by moving workers' to health plans with high out-of-pocket costs, meaning employees have to pay more for the same type of care.

Many employers provide wellness programs in the workplace and education on workers' available benefits, but HR professionals should think beyond these employee engagement ideas. HR professionals should still ensure workers understand their benefits, only there are numerous benefits to asking employers to provide employees with additional resources, such as financial counseling through a new wellness initiative. 

Workers Can Benefit from Financial Well-Being Programs
The infographic – which is a compilation of research from Harris Poll and MetLife, to name a few – noted that employees are most concerned about changes in their financial health. Nearly half of workers have said they can't buy the items they need, and 44 percent don't have at least $2,000 in emergency savings. Both of these aspects are important to staff members' financial health, and living paycheck to paycheck or having financial troubles can impact their productivity and retention.

Workers often spend time worrying about their finances, with 46 percent taking one to three hours a week thinking about their financial problems. In fact, 44 percent of professionals contemplate their finances while in the office. When this happens, employers can experience costs due to lost productivity. In fact, the infographic highlighted that employers in professional services with more than 10,000 employees tend to lose $197,000 a week because of this issue. In addition, financial concerns is the main reason why 49 percent of workers starting hunting for new jobs.

"Financially fragile employees – those who are living paycheck to paycheck and with little or no savings – not only need to increase their financial literacy, they also need a new way to manage credit and regain their financial footing," Richard Carrano, president and CEO of Purchasing Power, said regarding the infographic's points

HR professionals should also consider investing in more effective payroll management software to ensure workers are being paid correctly.

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