Financial Education = More Productive Employees

Financial stress has a significant impact on productivity. How financial advisors can save the day.

One of the biggest issues many companies face is an unmotivated workforce. Productivity, or lack thereof, can be a huge burden on a company’s profitability. According to a study conducted by finance experts and researchers at leading universities, 30 million workers (or one in four) suffer serious financial distress that impacts their employers. Up to 80 percent of those workers spent time during work hours worrying about personal financial issues and dealing with those issues instead of working.

And you, retirement plan advisor, can be the key to helping these companies improve their bottom line. Retirement advisors have the tools necessary to address a client company’s productivity problem.  It comes in the form of education.

While it may be difficult for employers to focus on their employees’ financial well-being, it behooves companies to take personal financial fitness seriously. The same study shows that 40-50 percent of workers who are financially distress report negative health impacts of their financial woes.

Some of the ways in which retirement plan advisors can help plan participants regain control over their financial fitness include:

Workplace education sessions. By holding on-site or virtual training sessions, advisors can help employees connect with the idea of financial wellness as part of their work/life balance. Advisors can easily reach more plan participants while they are on the job than in after-hour sessions.

Financial wellness programs. Such programs foster a culture that promotes conversation around money and saving. Programs can help participants set goals and measure results on a regular basis. By creating a system of accountability, employers can create a mindset of saving in their employees.

Workplace surveys. The best way to know what employees need is to ask them. Conduct quarterly or semi-annual surveys to find out what your employees’ financial concerns are. Also include checkups to see how they’ve improved after their financial wellness program has been implemented.

Simple savings methods. A five-percent retirement account deduction, a dollar-amount monthly savings account contribution, a consolidation of credit card accounts, or a refinancing of loans can help participants feel they’re more in control of their finances. Show your participants how to save in all areas, not just in accounts.

Expenditure tracking. Employees who are unaware of what they’re spending monthly (and on what they’re spending) are less likely to notice they’re overspending. A simple notebook or worksheet can help them track each dollar they spend over a month. Advisors can then go over these worksheets with them to identify areas of improvement.

Financial awareness articles. Timely emailed communications that speak to the age and concerns of participants can alert participants to potential saving opportunities.New parents may want to know about saving for college without impacting retirement investments, and older workers may benefit from information on how to allocate their retirement contributions for maximum impact.

Productivity can be greatly advanced by shifting your client employer’s culture to focus more on the personal financial success of each employee. By being the resource and guiding force for such success, advisors can deliver life-altering value that ensures a much brighter retirement for all employees.

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