Reality Check: Employee’s Financial Stress Costs Employers

A Corporate Wellness Magazine article by Elizabeth Halkos, Purchasing Power’s COO, earlier this year illustrates the impact that employees’ financial stress has on employers and what organizations can do to improve the situation.

Stress over money and credit debt takes both a mental and physical toll on workers, impacting health-related costs and significantly reducing productivity. Employees’ financial problems become the employer’s problems as well. These include:

  • Absenteeism. Financially-stressed employees use more sick leave and are absent from work more often.
  • Presenteeism. Although employees are physically at work, they spend time on activities unrelated to their jobs, such as talking to creditors.
  • Health Concerns. Unhealthy workers produce lower quantity and quality of work and bring higher health costs both to the patient and the employer. Distress over financial matters can contribute to irritability, anger, fatigue, and sleeplessness.
  • Work Conflicts. Tardiness, incomplete work tasks, and accidents result when workers’ personal issues interfere with their job performance.

As Halkos explains in the article, when the washing machine breaks down or the car needs new tires – and employees don’t have the cash to handle it – what options do they have? There are many different financing options available to pay for both expected and unexpected expenses, but many of them can lead to a debt spiral and getting out of it can be difficult. That’s why it’s so important for employees to be ‘credit educated’ – to understand hidden costs and fees associated with high-risk credit options and avoid making financial mistakes that can hound them months, even years, later.

Check out Halkos article for more detail on financial wellness solutions that employers can utilize to improve employee financial health.

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