Guest blog: How to tackle employees' financial stress in the workplace

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

By Mike Kappas

Workplace stress comes in many shapes and sizes. While some stressors, like tight deadlines or harsh supervisors, stem directly from the job, it's likely that employees are also bringing financial baggage with them to work each day.

According to the 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers Employee Financial Wellness Survey, one in five employees admit that personal finance issues have been a distraction at work. Additionally, 37 percent of employees report spending three or more working hours each week thinking about or dealing with personal finances.

The numbers are clear. Lost working hours are impacting employee health, productivity and the company's bottom line. In the age of work-life integration, what can we do, as leaders of our organizations, to ease the burden of financial stress and help our employees be happier, more productive and financially well?

Host a Lunch and Learn

Start a conversation with your employees to find out what financial issues they are struggling with and bring in a speaker or stream a relevant webinar to address those concerns over lunch. Are a significant number of your employees expectant parents? How many of your employees have a grasp on their retirement plan or know the ins and outs of their 401(k)s? Bringing employees together over lunch fosters conversation and facilitates a natural forum for questions and answers about financial education.

Provide Financial Coaching

Give your employees access to one-on-one time with an expert by providing financial coaching as a benefit to employees. Individualized financial coaching empowers employees and allows them to discuss their situation and create a unique action plan without judgment.

Include Financial Education Organizations in Your EAP

Employees are often embarrassed to admit that they are struggling financially, if they speak up at all. Providing resources in a manner that is confidential and discrete allows employees to privately take control of their financial situation. Identify and partner with reputable organizations in your area that provide financial education and include them in your Employee Assistance Program.

Nearly half of all employees find dealing with their financial situation stressful. It's time to start the conversation about financial health. Ultimately, taking the lead on addressing employee financial stress will have a positive impact on the emotional and physical health of your employees while also increasing productivity and morale in the workplace.

Mike Kappas is the President and CEO of Apprisen, a Columbus-based not-for-profit financial services specialist providing financial resources for employers and individuals.