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When Employees' Financial Problems Impact Work and Productivity

According to research by the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation (PFEEF), employee distress over personal financial issues can affect their productivity in the workplace. In addition, financial stress can lead to illness and absences from work.

To create a happier, healthier, and more productive work environment, employers should consider their options to assist with or prevent employees’ financial distress.  

One option is to offer an educational program teaching financial literacy. Educational programs can range from the basic, such as a seminar, to the complex, such as training programs, personalized Web sites, and tools. Whichever you choose, the educational program should include information such as basic money principles, investment basics, managing debt, and developing goals. Encourage employees to attend and make sure management supports attendance. 

Your 401(k) provider may also be able to help. Some providers offer education on how to plan for retirement, as well as how to manage financial investments, and may even offer retirement planning counselors to help employees determine how much they should save and how they should invest. 

If your company is large enough, you may also see if you can obtain group rates on personal financial planning, mortgages, insurance, tax planning and other professional financial services. You can then offer these to your employees as a free benefit or at a lower rate than they can obtain themselves. You could also provide them with paid time off to meet with these professionals—it will probably save you money in the long term.