At a recent seminar sponsored by Prudential, Paul Braihm, CFP of The American College, detailed the challenges of declining US productivity and its main culprit – financial stress by employees that occupy their waking (not just working) hours. With talent at an all-time premium and unemployment rates at historic lows, employers are concerned with making sure their people are healthy, mindful, present, engaged and productive at work. Dr. Steven Covey, Guru of Productivity, said “Having spent my career helping individuals and corporations increase productivity, I’ve become convinced that one of the greatest, unnoticed drains on individual productivity is the distraction that financial stress puts on people.”
These stressors affect people at all levels of organizations including the “Highly Compensated”. All employees can be affected and therefore, all employers can and should provide help. A January 2019 State Income & Policy Report from non-profit ProsperityNOW showed that 43.3% of Massachusetts households did not have emergency savings, 49.2% of renters are “cost burdened” and 9.3% of adults could not see a doctor due to cost despite the lowest uninsured rates in the nation.
Financial stress at work costs employers a lot of money in terms of absenteeism, tardiness, presenteeism, poor health, lower pay satisfaction, higher turnover, lower employee morale, accidents, theft, substance abuse and loss of customers. However, there is an undiagnosed and growing crisis brewing in delayed retirement.