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Employers and Organizations


Why is Employee Financial Wellness Important in the Workplace?

Employers and Organizations

The Impact of Financial Stress on Employee Performance, Workplace Productivity, and Mental Health

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Last Update: February 15, 2024

Financial stress often lurks in the work environment, having a negative influence on employee performance and work productivity. 

According to a 2023 article on WebMD, money remains a taboo topic for many employees, yet it is a leading cause of stress. Many organizations are recognizing its impact on people's performance and overall mental health.1

Indeed, financial stress is a growing concern for companies. Consequently, HR departments and employers are taking on a new role: implementing financial wellness initiatives.

Consider this article as an introduction to financial stress, its effects, and how to manage it. Let's dive in.

Understanding the Impact of Financial Stress on Employees

What does it mean to be financially stressed? It's like waking up each day not to the sound of an alarm clock but to a cloud of worry. Your mind races, recalling unpaid bills and mounting debts. Personal finances become all-consuming, creating a burden that weighs heavily on the mind and body.

A study by PwC found that financial worries are prevalent, even among those earning $100,000 a year. In fact, 57% of respondents identified finances as their top stressor.2 And this stress doesn't just stay confined to home; it seeps into other aspects of life, affecting sleep, mental well-being, self-esteem, physical health, and relationships.

Financial fears can lead to employees feeling distracted and demoralized, as shown by the Financial Post. In the U.S., stressed employees cost businesses $40 billion in lost productivity in 2022.3

It's clear: the loss of employee productivity due to financial distress is a pressing issue. Let's dive deeper into this growing concern.

The Toll on Work Performance and Productivity

Now that we understand how financial stress impacts today's employees let's explore two critical concepts: performance and workplace productivity.

Work performance refers to how well a person completes their tasks – the quality of outputs. Meanwhile, workplace productivity measures the quantity of outputs, often based on weekly hours.

When employees are under stress, both performance and productivity can suffer a decline. Therefore, it's essential for employers to find ways to assist their employees.

Decreased Productivity and Focus

Constant worry about money can distract workers, leading to elevated stress levels. According to the American Psychological Association, this can result in fatigue, difficulty concentrating, or irritability.4 Consequently, financial concerns become an unseen barrier to productivity.

Stress can also impair decision-making, resulting in task errors or incomplete assignments. These issues not only affect job performance but also employee well-being in the long run.

Increased Absenteeism and Presenteeism

Financial stress often leads to increased absenteeism, as employees may feel overwhelmed or experience sleep problems. This can result in more sick leave taken by affected employees.

Additionally, financially stressed employees may exhibit "presenteeism," where they are physically present at work but mentally preoccupied with worries. Both have significant costs for companies, impacting overall organizational productivity beyond just payroll expenses.

Mental Health Ramifications Due to Financial Issues

Edward Stanley once said, "Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." This can relate to financial wellness, too. 

When financial worries start to pile up, they can harm mental health. That's because the constant stress takes a toll on people. Anxiety and depression can surface as people constantly worry about money matters.5

Mental health stigma at the workplace adds another layer to this issue. When employees don't like discussing issues related to financial stress, the problem worsens.

So, what can be done to address this?

The good news is that there are proactive steps for employers. They can start by including mental health in workplace health programs. 

Meanwhile, talking about lifestyle changes can improve their financial situation, too. This is one of the best practices for financial wellness programs. But there's more that employers can do.

The Role of Employers in Promoting Financial Wellness

At this point, employers need to be aware of financial stress in the workplace and take steps to address it.

They can start with financial wellness initiatives. A combination of financial education programs and targeted measures can help. Let's explore some options.

Implementing Proactive Measures to Help Employees

What can you do today to improve your team's financial wellness tomorrow? Tailored solutions for financial literacy can make a significant impact. These tools might include:

  • Financial calculators for budgeting, savings, and loan interests
  • Branded financial tools that help increase adoption rates
  • Stress analytics to identify employees at risk of financial stress
  • Money mindfulness resources to help employees manage their finances better

The results of implementing these measures speak volumes, according to the Financial Wellness Behavior Change Data from Enrich.

The study showed those who used such resources witnessed a 25.51% increase in their credit scores. But what about their savings? Employees and employers alike were thrilled as average savings leaped by a significant 55%. Now that's financial wellness in action.

Creating A Culture of Open Communication and Support

It's time to break down the walls of silence on financial stress. Employers can create a support system that makes discussing money matters less awkward.

How about peer groups? Employees can share experiences, ease fears, and reduce financial stress. Picture workshops facilitated by HR teams – an empowering take on financial services.

Companies can also consider more direct forms of help. Employee assistance programs can provide aid to those who need immediate relief. Given the right conditions, communication can turn a culture of stress into a culture of support.

Start Fostering Workplace Financial Wellness

Facing financial stress in the workplace can be a steep mountain to climb. Yet, employers have the power to foster a financially healthier work environment. 

Take proactive steps today. Enrich is here to understand your preferred outcomes for your business. After that, you'll get to enjoy a customized portal based on the those objectives. 

To learn more, watch our video or schedule a demo with Enrich today. 

FAQs About the Impact of Financial Stress on Employees

What is the impact of financial stress on employee productivity?

Research has shown that financial stress on employees can have a detrimental effect on their job performance and work productivity. Employees dealing with financial issues are often distracted and may struggle to focus on their tasks, leading to decreased productivity.

How does financial stress affect employees and their mental health?

The link between financial stress and mental health is well-documented. The stress caused by financial issues can have a significant impact on the mental and physical health of employees. It can lead to mental health issues and overall mental well-being.

Why should employers be concerned about employee financial stress?

Financial stress not only affects individual employees but also impacts the workplace as a whole. Employers should be concerned as it can lead to increased absenteeism, reduced employee performance, and a negative impact on the work environment.

How can employers help employees manage their financial worries?

Employers can assist their employees by offering financial wellness programs and financial education to help them manage their finances effectively and improve their financial wellness.

What are the potential benefits of offering financial wellness programs?

Offering financial wellness benefits can lead to several positive outcomes, including improved employee well-being, increased employee wellness, and enhanced work productivity.


1 - https://www.webmdhealthservices.com/blog/financial-stress-in-the-workplace-how-to-help-employees-cope/

2 - https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/business-transformation/library/employee-financial-wellness-survey.html

3 - https://financialpost.com/fp-work/worker-financial-stress-employers-cost-billions

4 - https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/health

5 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8806009/

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