Financial Stress Doesn’t End at the Office Door
Financial stress tops the list for employers looking to support their employees’ emotional wellbeing. “In fact, there has been an 11% increase in employee financial stress since 2021, according to BrightPlan’s 2022 Wellness Barometer Survey on the state of employee well-being.” For employees looking to reduce financial stress, wellness programs provided by employers “are proven to decrease financial stress…an Enrich study shows that financial wellness program users experienced a 23 percent average reduction in financial stress over a. 12-month period.” (Enrich.org)
As I continue to work with my clients, I’ve noticed that inflation anxiety is becoming more prevalent as financial reports project another imminent economic collapse. According to the American Psychological Association partnered with The Harris Poll, more adults rated inflation as one of the top stressors above than any other issue asked about since the Stress in America survey began.
More specifically, for many employees, the top sources of stress are the rise in prices of everyday items due to inflation (e.g., gas prices, energy bills, grocery costs, etc.) (87%), followed by supply chain issues (81%) and global uncertainty (81%).
Whether your employees are struggling to pay bills or build up their savings, these pressures can take a toll on their emotional and physical health, as well as their workplace productivity and the organization’s bottom line. Mercer’s research on financial stress suggests that employee financial stress at work can impact an employer’s net productivity up to $250 billion annually. This number has the potential to increase employer stress significantly.
Addressing financial stress can be a win-win outcome for both the employee and the employer. I believe stress surrounding any issue has the potential to affect the workplace, team effectiveness, and environmental morale. My passion for mental wellbeing drives me to educate and motivate professionals to develop healthy emotional management skills for complete wellness. So, I would like to take a moment to suggest a few simple, practical tips to help you support your staff during times of increased financial stress when many are experiencing inflation stress.
1. Employer Support –
· Stress Management Skills are crucial for any successful business. Remember, most businesses are in the “people” business, starting with your employees. Offer your teams the opportunity to engage in monthly stress management courses.
· Financial Wellbeing Trainings are a resourceful approach for educating and minimizing financial stress. These sessions have the potential to also increase healthy workplace relationships and morale.
· Financial Health Discussions are a simple way to connect with employees to discover their financial concerns (budgeting, saving, spending, debt, etc.) Provide professional educational materials, apps, and podcasts.
2. Peer Support –
· Peer to Peer discussions and mentoring opportunities with someone who has experienced financial stress and/or inflation stress.
· Peer Listening is an effective way to vent. Sometimes stress relief comes by simply having someone to talk to.
At Listeners On Call, we specialize in listening. We understand the power of listening.
Listening is a human act of compassion that delivers an incredible impact. Listening counteracts the negative and limiting feelings of isolation through true human-to-human connection. If you or your employees are experiencing financial stress, we have trained listeners ready to listen.
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The Importance of Reducing Work Stress
Anxious feelings arising at work are nothing out of the ordinary. Impending deadlines, busy schedules and multiplying communication threads all cause a sense of urgency that, while not necessarily comfortable, can be disconnected from when the working day is done. Stress, however, is a different element entirely.