Businessolver Blog

Why Employers Must Stop Ignoring Financial Stress  

Why Employers Must Stop Ignoring Financial Stress  
Posted on Thursday, April 27, 2023 by Rae Shanahan

Financial success sets the stage for employees to seek regular care, avoid costly emergencies, and prioritize their mental and physical health. 

In life and work, everything is interconnected. Employees’ financial status has a direct correlation to their stress levels, mental focus, work performance, and interpersonal relationships. 

Financial stability lays a foundation for lifelong health and happiness. When employees feel they can see their doctor anytime they need, they can address conditions before they become something concerning enough to go to the ER.  

Not having an emergency fund is an emergency. 

A trip to the emergency room is financially devastating for many: 45% would feel totally panicked. Not to mention, ER visits are not only likely avoidable with regular primary care, but also likely treatable at a more affordable urgent care facility. 

The last three years have shown employees that life can change at any moment, yet few would be able to cover a few months’ living expenses if needed. Retirement savings are the first to go when people need cash. But this “robbing Peter to pay Paul” approach only backfires on employees long-term. 

Financial stress invites health procrastination and inhibits preventive care. 

Half of Americans said they have skipped or delayed medical care because of money. Without knowing how they’ll cover costs, preventive services go out the window. Plus, chronic stress can exacerbate health problems. 

U.S. adults are least likely to pay out-of-pocket for tobacco cessation, depression screenings, and obesity-related weight loss measure. Though Americans are more likely to splurge for cancer screenings and their dependents preventive care, only 46% would do so on their own dime. 

Benefits and financial education can boost literacy and savings habits. 

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to budgeting, saving, paying off debt, and investing. Financial education can combat overwhelm and give employees a sense of control over their financial future.  

A variety of employee benefits can help put smart money decisions on autopilot. Health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts set aside funds each paycheck, so people always have money for health expenses big and small. Many employers match these funds, ensuring employees’ most important health expenses are covered.  

Ignoring financial stress has serious consequences on wellbeing and makes it difficult to follow through on positive health decisions. A proactive approach decreases cortisol levels in the short term, while inviting employees to enjoy a long, health life.   

Financial benefits are one way employees feel valued and appreciated by their organization. Benefits are anything but cold; in fact, modern benefits strategies are empathetic.