2018 sees several workplace trends that aim to enhance a company’s overall performance. With an aging pool of labour and difficulties in securing experienced and senior talent, now more than ever is HR taking a serious look at the factors that affect productivity in the workplace. Apart from people analytics and mental wellbeing, financial wellness is also viewed as a critical factor that may affect the performance of an employee. Loss of concentration, mental problems, inability to focus, anxiety, tension, and stress are counterproductive factors that affect an employee with financial problems. The good news is companies and management are finding ways to improve the situation.

Loss of Concentration

Financial well-being has evidently an effect on an employee’s ability to focus on the job. The feeling of insecurity overwhelms and is overpowering which in turn affects the capacity to concentrate on tasks.  A person who is not focused might be distracted and cannot zero in on their duties and responsibilities at work. It is vital that an employee finds ways to regain concentration at the workplace.

Low Productivity

Without focus, employees who are going through financial difficulties are more likely to perform poorly at work. Money problems cause sleep deprivation resulting in low productivity levels. The ability to think critically, solve problems and meet work output & targets are affected.

Work Fatigue & Burnout

Money issues also result in fatigue and burnout that affect social relationships at work. Employees may tend to keep to themselves, have little incentive to cooperate on work matters and are not generally motivated. In addition, about 10 million working days are lost each year due to stress (Thomsons, 2017).

Higher Turnover

Employees who strongly feel that their current jobs do not pay enough for them to live decently will be looking for better-paying employment. As a result, employee turnover is high costing the company lots of money to hire and train new workers.

Employers Respond

Financial stress and anxiety have been getting the companies’ attention. Recognizing that the well-being of workers is very important in their overall performance, companies start to offer financial wellness solutions. Thomsons Online Benefits 2016/17 reports that companies that offer education and financial support enjoy a 22% increase in engagement amongst its employees. According to research conducted by Nudge, 66% of employers believe that borrowing and debt management are crucial in attaining financial wellness in 2018. It also indicated that 92% of employer respondents believe that the best financial wellness strategy should be part of an ongoing financial education programme combined with suitable employee benefits.

Despite employers saying that they want to improve their employee’s financial well-being, there is little evidence to show that the gap between aspiration and support to employees is becoming narrow, according to the same study.

Nonetheless, recognition of the problem is the first step and hopefully, more employers will follow up on a financial wellness strategy for the benefit of their employees and the company.

Author: freelance writer Lucy Wyndham
Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

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