Your Employees are Financially Stressed. So, What are You Going to Do About It?

a person using a tablet to show data and charts while other employees take notes

According to research by the American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans are financially stressed. It goes without saying that financial stress takes a serious toll on an individual’s health, happiness, and overall well-being. But it also has a ripple effect on our workforce. When employees are stressed, productivity, performance, and engagement all plummet. So, what are we doing to help employees manage stress? Not much. New research from Aptitude reveals that 70% of companies have no formal process to manage employee stress. Given the impact of stress on our personal and professional lives, can’t we do better? Can’t we provide employees with the right resources and support to manage their personal finances and pay off debt?

Fortunately, some organizations are committed to doing more. Companies are being more strategic when they think about financial stress and investing in solutions that impact the bottom line. In our latest research, we found that 1 in 4 companies have financial wellness solutions. While it is exciting that companies are embracing financial wellness, many of these solutions do little to help employees manage the stress. Instead, they simply provide information and data without an action plan to help employees as they move forward. Financial wellness is an area that is still emerging and organizations must make better decisions around the providers they consider.

One of the financial wellness providers I have been most impressed with this year is Best Money Moves. Their solution helps organizations tackle the real issues impacting our workforce in a way that maintains employee privacy and empowerment. It is a mobile-first employee benefit solution that helps employees understand and take control of their finances. It also offers “money coaches” to help employees make better decisions about their finances moving forward.

Most companies understand that financial stress has become a crisis and that this is the time to address it. Yet, finding the right solutions can be tricky. Here are a few recommendations to think about as you begin tackling financial stress in your organization:

  • Measure It: Find solutions that do more than just make assumptions or generalize financial stress. Instead, consider solutions that truly measure individual stress levels and provide an action plan to help employees take control of their finances.
  • Keep It Simple: Finances are scary. The worst thing an employer can do is invest in solutions that overcomplicate financial wellness and make it intimidating. Companies should look for solutions that keep it simple and easy for employees to understand what they need to do.
  • Establish Trust: Privacy is a critical consideration in financial wellness. Employees need a solution that they can trust will maintain their privacy and provide the right advice.

We are excited to be providing more research on financial wellness this year and would love to hear what solutions you are using and what challenges you are facing.

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano is the founder and chief analyst of Aptitude Research. For over 18 years, Madeline’s primary focus has been on the HCM market, specializing in talent acquisition and employee experience. Her work helps companies both validate and re-evaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. She has watched HCM transform from a back-office function to a strategic company initiative with a focus on partnerships, experience and efficiency.

Before founding Aptitude Research, Madeline held research roles at Aberdeen, Bersin by Deloitte, ERE Media and Brandon Hall Group. She is the co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and is often quoted in leading business publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, The New York Times and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, Unleash, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.

In her spare time, she is a runner, an avid sports fan and juggles a house full of boys (where a spontaneous indoor hockey game is not unheard of!).

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