South African’s are struggling with their finances, living from paycheck-to-paycheck. In fact, nearly 75% of employees don’t have the savings to handle an unexpected car repair or medical bill. It’s safe to say that South African’s are under severe financial pressure.

Rising food prices and general living costs are sky high, very few people have anything to put away at the end of the month. Add to that growing credit card debt, student loans, and a lack of retirement savings … it’s no wonder why more and more employees are bringing financial concerns to work. A 2017 survey by Mercer indicates that 16% of employees spend an average of 13 hours of work per month worrying about money.

Employers already provide a paycheck and benefits, why should they do anything else? Financial wellbeing is a growing concern for businesses. Human resources departments and CFOs everywhere are focusing on employee wellness and customizing benefit programs to meet changing needs. Low financial wellbeing ultimately has an impact on the employers’ balance sheet because financial stress in the workplace leads to poor work and increased absenteeism.

Employers, therefore, have a vested interest in improving the financial wellness of their employees from a business output and productivity perspective. By reducing the number of employees suffering from finance-related stress businesses can increase productivity, build retention, and establish themselves as an employer of choice.

A commonly held belief is that financial wellness depends on how well you get paid. Turns out not to be the case. The highest rate of financial worries are those in the higher income groups. Alarmingly they suffer more from panic attacks and depression than any other income group. The takeaway? It’s not the amount that you earn that dictates financial wellbeing, but rather what you do with it.

So, this is where the employer comes in. HR teams can deliver initiatives that help take the stress out of employees’ financial lives by providing programs and tools. In addition to health and retirement plans, employers should consider disability insurance or student loan repayment benefits. It’s important to do a survey to determine the needs of employees. For example, benefits to help pay for a child’s university education could also be popular.

Also, think about offering educational opportunities. Benefits are important but employees also need to learn the right skills and habits to manage their finances successfully. Introduce lunch hour seminars or flexible webinars which includes topics such as mortgage management, debt reduction, retirement planning, and student loan repayment. There are easy to use cloud-based and mobile financial tools to use.

Organisations have every reason to want their employees to be financially sound. A strong financial wellness programme will support recruitment and retainment efforts, while also improving productivity; for sure an excellent return on investment for both employer and employee.

Financial worries significantly surpass job stress (by 17%), relationships (by 15%) and health concerns (by 14%).

Remember, happy employees are productive employees. By reducing the number of employees suffering from finance related stress, company productivity could be increased, simple as that!

Worth looking into, right?


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.