The leading source of employee stress in the nation today is financial instability. Concerns over financial wellness affect everyone, irrespective of income level, age, gender and race. In fact, 90 million people in the U.S. live paycheck to paycheck, without even $500 in savings. Among them, more than 25 million are what is considered middle class. So, it is no surprise that financial stress is reducing workplace productivity and impacting businesses’ bottom line. Numbers as high as $300 billion in annual stress related costs are the ones most recently cited. Simultaneously, debates on increasing minimum wage and changing the tax rates continue to no end.
The reality is stark, for a working person who does not have savings or low cost credit to meet unexpected financial obligations the only available options are onerous debt-trap products like payday loans, title loans and pawn shops. Sadly, each of these products leads to increased stress and an unending spiral of debt related issues. It doesn’t have to be this way.
The majority of the nation’s working population can be made better prepared for recurring expenses, unexpected financial events and retirement, if given the right tools.
So, what is the right tool, which reduces financial stress and provides peace of mind without adding additional debt?
It is an employment-based financial benefit that allows an employee to access a portion of already earned wages.
Since a business is already invested in its workers through many existing wellness programs like basic healthcare and fitness, low cost loans and financial counseling, implementing an employer-sponsored financial wellness program that provides access to a portion of wages provides a powerful pathway to financial autonomy and savings. Businesses that alleviate their employees’ financial burdens can also tout innovation and social responsibility while experiencing greater productivity and a happier more engaged workforce.
Employer-sponsored financial wellness programs produce a number of advantages for businesses, including:
Eliminating the need for workers to turn to alternative, and often predatory, lenders to deal with immediate financial issues leads to a workforce without financial stress. In turn, a more engaged workforce will be more productive, allowing businesses to experience greater retention and income. In addition, workers who have greater financial liquidity are more likely to contribute to the economy as a whole.
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