(Written by Freya Cooper, FEI Account Manager)

Why should an employee’s financial stress be important to employers?

According to a survey by Kaiser Family Foundation, almost two-thirds—or 61 percent of Americans—report having financial problems. Other surveys show most Americans are strained and concerned about their financial future. Research The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted with Elevate in 2014 found that 61 percent of HR professionals described employees’ financial health as no better than fair.

With this information, I think it’s safe to assume employees experiencing financial stress are probably not going to be productive at work. Staff who are constantly thinking about money are not focused on job duties.

How are you, as an employer, going to help decrease the possibility that your employees have financial problems? A MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends, a national survey of employees, found more employees than ever before are indicating an interest in gaining advice and guidance from their employers for financial problems. Employees want your help!

In her article titled “Your Employees’ Financial Problems Are Your Problems,” Suzanne Lucas does a great job outlining five ways to help ensure employees are not thinking about their personal finances during the day. Additionally, I want to provide a few resources you can share with employees for more resilient financial health:

  • Abogo.com: Calculates transportation costs. I once sold a jeep I owned to CarMax because, after calculating the cost of transportation coupled with making payments, keeping the truck didn’t make good financial sense for my family at the time.
  • PayCheckCity.com: Provides a breakdown of salary so one can see take home pay. This can be a reality check, as salary and take home pay are different and impact financial health in very specific ways.
  • Gasbuddy.com: Helps locate the cheapest gas in your area. I get gas every two or three days and use this app often.
  • Learnvest.com: The M.A.S.H. function helps calculate how much your lifestyle costs you, and can assist those who may need to adjust their spending on lifestyle.
  • Digit: Free app for saving.
  • Annualcreditreport.com: Free credit reports.
  • CreditKarma.com: Free credit score.
  • BillGuard.com: Combines all financial information in one central location.
  • Ourfreakingbudget.com: A great website where you can find a lot of good financial information. My favorite thing on the website is the calculator you can use if you’re worried about spending too much money!
  • ATM Hunter: An app that uses current location information to help find the nearest cashpoint and locate cashpoints only from your bank, which can help you avoid fees.