Across boards of trustees, employers and members, we found that unhealthy finances is a pivotal issue. In Benefits Barometer 2013: The employee benefits system we delved into international research for proof of how badly things could go for companies that didn’t set this as a priority.
Problems highlighted were:
As one American study noted: “Employees with money problems are like sharks swimming around the workplace taking bites out of the bottom line”.
Further research highlights that when employees are financially distressed, the quality of cognitive processing and decision making also declines rapidly. But while it may be sensible to provide employees with financial wellness programmes, four factors appear to complicate the debate:
Tackling the problem of financial wellness demands multiple strategies because employees are often at different levels of awareness, acceptance and preparedness for change. This suggests that the common use of direct educational programmes in classrooms is perhaps the least effective. We considered the details in 'Failure to launch'.