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Financial wellness is vital for employees – and it trickles down to physical health, too

compensationIf you’re one of the many organizations these days with a focus on employee health and wellness, kudos to you! Having a healthier workforce is a great way to build a more productive business. But have you considered widening the scope of your company’s wellness efforts? It’s important to note that being healthy is about a lot more than just eating right and exercising.

To wit, there’s been a lot of discussion in HCM circles recently about the value of financial wellness. It’s the often-overlooked cousin of physical wellness, but studies have found it to be almost as important. People worry about money matters all the time, and those worries have a way of affecting their mental state, their work and even their physical health.

Isn’t it time your organization did something to address this problem?

The state of financial wellness today
The data reveals that trouble with financial wellness is a pretty widespread issue among employees today, according to Benefits Pro. Insurance and risk management expert Lori Widmer told the news source that in her estimation, 24 percent of employees are distracted at work by financial issues, and 39 percent spend three hours a week or more thinking about them.

Money troubles can spring up quickly. We all set budgets and adhere to them from month to month, but unexpected circumstances spring up – accidents, illnesses and unexpected deaths are all examples of detrimental financial wellness issues.

Widmer, for this reason, emphasized that wellness programs can help companies reduce the negative impact of financial troubles.

“A healthier workforce translates into a number of business benefits – fewer absences, more productive employees, better employee retention and less stress on the employer-sponsored health insurance program,” she argued. “Yet when it comes to financial wellness, employers have yet to fully understand the impact that an employee’s financial condition has on the bottom line.”

Perhaps it’s time your organization did some more research to figure this out.

The link between financial and physical health
You can even take this conversation one step farther. Not only is financial health an issue in and of itself, but it also tends to bleed over into physical health, according to Employee Benefit News.

The news source reported on a recent Alliant Credit Union survey, which found that 70 percent of American adults today have financial worries. In many cases, these worries bleed over into stress-related illnesses, causing a staggering number of sick days.

This is an issue employers need to address sooner rather than later. Your organization may want to consider offering an employee assistance program that can help employees tackle problems related to their finances, and ensure they receive easy-to-access information and support that they need. 

Is this something your organization has explored? If not, it might be worth considering. Learn how the LifeWorks Employee Assistance Program can help your employees with personal and professional challenges. 

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