According to recent research, employee financial stress increases absenteeism and tardiness by 34%. Even while they’re at work, money worries have an impact on worker productivity, with nearly half of employees admitting they spend three or more hours per week distracted by financial matters.
In response, more companies are implementing financial wellness programs for their staff. And while these programs are new, early research suggests firms are seeing returns of up to $1.50 for every dollar spent.
If you want to improve wellness and productivity among your staff, here are some financial programs to consider offering.
Budgeting is the foundation of financial health. As such, it’s a smart place for a workplace’s financial wellness program to start. While most people recognize the value of keeping a budget, fewer than half actually have one. In addition to covering the basics of creating a household budget, this program should emphasize simple ways to track income and expenses such as using financial apps like Mint and You Need A Budget that sync with banking accounts.
Household debt is a leading source of financial stress, with 47% of Canadians relying on debt to stay afloat financially. Due in part to high debt loads, many households are living paycheck to paycheck with no actionable plan for repaying their debt. A debt management program can help employees distinguish between good debt and predatory debt (such as payday loans), learn how interest rates work, what to look for when applying for a credit card, and understand how to improve their credit score. A debt management course may also help employees learn strategies for paying down debt and using debt wisely.
Canadians lost $21.2 million to identity theft in 2018—a more than 90% increase from 2017. Identity protection programs should focus on best practices for protecting oneself from identity theft such as using secure passwords, identifying phishing scams, and monitoring bank accounts for suspicious activity.
Once short-term financial concerns are addressed, it’s time to start thinking about the future. Retirement planning programs should include information about the details of your firm’s employer pension plan, if available, and how to choose between RRSP and TFSA plans for personal retirement savings. As many as 20% of Canadians have no retirement savings outside their Canadian Pension Plan, and it’s imperative that a financial wellness program help employees understand the limited benefits offered under the CPP and calculate what they’ll need to set aside for a comfortable retirement.