There are many forms of stress and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it costs American businesses up to $300 billion a year in lost productivity, absences, and associated disability costs.
Stress results in a lack of focus on the job, increased errors and missed deadlines. When employees are stressed, they can be more irritable, which may result in interpersonal issues with colleagues and can pollute the positive culture of a workplace. In a recent study by the American Psychological Association, financial stress is one of the top sources of stress for North Americans.
With Christmas bills to pay and increased pay cheque deductions for government-sponsored programs such as the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance, employees tend to face additional stress related financial woes early in the new year. This stress hurts a company's bottom line.
According to a Financial Wellness Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 29 percent of employees reported that personal finance issues distracted them at work. The survey also revealed that 48 percent of respondents admitted to taking time off during work hours (2-3 hours per week) to handle their personal finances.
Employees worry about having enough funds for an emergency or unexpected expenses. According to a Purchasing Power survey, 44 percent of employees report that they don't have $2,000 in emergency funds. Some are living pay cheque to pay cheque and they can't keep up with their debt (28 percent struggle to meet household demands). As a result, they worry about their job security. When there is increased financial stress, there is a direct relation to workplace accidents, higher disability costs and higher employee turnover.
Employers can help employees reduce financial stress. Here are five tips to consider:
To learn more about workplace solutions to help reduce employee financial stress, please contact us. We're here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
The month of January is in full swing. Early in the month, many employees made resolutions that they sincerely hope to keep. According to a University of Scranton survey, resolution themes fall into four main categories:
At least 24% of people who make resolutions fail to achieve them each year. What can be done in the workplace to support employees with their new year's goals? People leaders can help employees have a greater success rate with accomplishing their resolutions through increased communication, leading by example, and introducing simple and cost effective solutions.
Here are five tips for creating a workplace environment that gives employees a helping hand with keeping those resolutions:
This list of tips certainly is not exhaustive, but it does create opportunities for leaders to support the goals and resolutions that many employees dearly wish to honour throughout the year. To explore these tips in greater detail or to discuss other group benefit-related solutions for your workplace, we invite you to contact us. We're here to help so you can focus on what you do best.
Dave Dickinson, B.Comm, CFP, CLU, CHFC
Experienced Benefits Specialist ready to optimize your group benefits and pension plans.