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Employees’ Financial Stress Costs Employers

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About half of the United States workforce is dealing with financial stress, leading to $500 billion in lost productivity costs for employers.

This is according to a new survey by Salary Finance, which found that 48% of employees are worried about money. Those worries cost the employee about a month of productivity per year. Financially-stressed employees are also 2.2 times more likely to seek employment elsewhere. The lost productivity, combined with increased turnover costs and other factors related to poor financial wellness, account for, on average, 11% to 14% of an employer’s payroll expense.

The stress also leads to health issues, the survey said. For instance, a cash-strapped employee is 3.4 times more likely to experience anxiety or panic attacks and is four times more likely to suffer from depression. They are also 5.8 times more likely to miss deadlines and 4.9 times more likely to produce lower quality work.

These stresses aren’t just grouped in with lower-wage workers either. Of the over 10,000 employees surveyed, one in four makes over $160,000 a year. About 40% of those making over $100,000 are still deemed financially unstable, with less than three months’ savings.

“Historically, employers have viewed employees’ personal finances as none of their concern, but American companies can’t afford to continue to turn a blind eye to their employees’ financial wellness,” said Asesh Sarkar, Salary Finance CEO and co-founder. “The connection between financial and mental wellness can deteriorate if solutions are not readily made available to those struggling. Ignoring the impact of financial problems on workplace wellness will only continue to perpetuate this loop.”

 About the Author 

Stephanie N. Rotondo is a writer/editor at WorldatWork. 

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