We all know employee wellness has been a booming topic for a while now. Considering corporate wellness programs are nearly an $8 billion industry just in the U.S. alone, its popularity is evident monetarily, too. However, many businesses are forgetting to prioritize one of the most foundational employee wellness puzzle pieces of all: Employee financial wellness.
After all, employee wellness programs are all about improving employee health and productivity (both of which suffer greatly when workers are worried sick over their financial instability).
Important to mention, it isn’t just a wishy-washy assumption that you can’t be physically and mentally well when living in financial stress. The statistics back it up (and continue to grow):
- People with high financial stress have 3 times the digestive tract problems, double the rate of heart attacks, and 44% more migraines.
- According to The Shriver Report, “23% of low-income employees exhibit two of the three indicators of depression, compared with 10% of high-income employees."
- Research shows that 1 in 4 Americans experience PTSD-like symptoms from financial stress resulting in self-destructive characteristics like denial, avoidance, and anger.
We will say, though, not all companies are too behind the times: 92% of employers report (statistics from Aon Hewitt’s 2017 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing survey) being very or moderately likely to expand their financial benefits beyond retirement plans this year. Even better, six out of 10 employers say the importance of offering financial wellness benefits to employees to improve financial health has increased in the last year as well.
But has employee financial wellness truly been prioritized in all benefit plans?
We feel there’s still room for growth and improvement.
Financial stress in America—and the struggles low- to middle-income income employees deal with on a daily basis which compromise health and well-being—should be top-of-the-mind for employers nationwide.
According to Eastern Kentucky University, workplace stress costs U.S. businesses $300 billion per year from absenteeism and poor employee health. Furthermore, 71% of employees say they suffer from financial stress, and among those employees 51% report that this financial stress interferes with their ability to focus and be productive at work. With statistics like this, there’s no other option for employers who want to improve their employees’ wellness—and streamline optimal recruitment, retention, and engagement—than to prioritize employee financial health.
It’s like a building: Without the proper structural foundation—like the one you need to build a safe hospital or a 1,500-foot skyscraper in New York City—the building will crumble, or in this case, your employees’ wellness has no chance. Employee financial health is the proper structural foundation needed for employee wellness, optimized business profitability, and high productivity and engagement. When employees aren’t worried about how they’ll be able to pay rent and aren’t constantly anxious about overdue payments, for example, they’re truly present for life. Employee wellness—in body and in mind—can flourish fully through financial wellness.
And with PayActiv, businesses also benefit: Our customers save an average $50,000 per 100 employees enrolled annually (and employees save an average $1,500 per year themselves). Offer your employees true wellness with PayActiv’s holistic financial wellness program. We give employees real-time access to their earned income and remove their between-paychecks stress. Contact us today to go live within 48 hours—your employees, and business, deserve it.