The CPA’s 2018 survey reveals that 40% of employed Canadians are feeling overwhelmed by financial debt. This stressor can lead to consequences in the workplace, as 45% of Canadian workers say that “financial stress is impacting their workplace performance.”

To prevent financial woes from impacting work by reducing employee performance and productivity, organizations need to invest in employee financial wellness by empowering their people to embark on a path of personal finance management.

The need for employee financial wellness support

Employees are missing out on the opportunity of being proactive in planning for the future due to the lack of knowledge of finance management and the resources available to them. As well, another barrier is the perspective of the lack of a safe space to discuss their financial situations openly in the office. As the CPA survey states, 47% of respondents indicated that “they would be uncomfortable talking about debt with a colleague or peer.”

Providing financial education and resources in the workplace is a necessity for developing a strengthened sense of financial preparedness and security among your team members. The key solution to fulfilling this end goal is to cultivate a forum within the work environment in which employees can feel comfortable with speaking about their finances.

Strategies for promoting financial literacy in the workplace

There are various initiatives organizations can take to deliver financial education in the work environment.

Support your people in improving their financial literacy with reading materials to study and informational workshops to attend. The Government of Canada’s Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers a number of financial literacy resources and initiatives, including worksheets, blog posts, and videos, to support Canadian workers in taking control of and investing in their financial well-being. Topics covered include making a budget, having a savings and debt reduction plan, and understanding their financial rights and responsibilities. Additionally, the CPA offers free financial literacy sessions for training on financial basics, money management, and family planning. As another option, organizations can invite financial experts to deliver informative presentations on financial topics to their staff.

Your company’s human resources and accounting departments can also provide transparency to employees by enabling them to review their earnings and savings in depth with access to their payroll, benefits, and pensions information. A comprehensive digital payroll solution can support your people in gaining a greater understanding of their financial data in their paystubs and related pay documents.

The benefits of providing financial education in the workplace

Encouraging your people to prioritize their financial health and wellness will have tremendous results on their wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of your organization. According to Bruce Elliott, manager of compensation and benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management, financial education should be considered “a recruitment and retention tool” that gives an edge employers that choose to utilize it. 

In addition to improvements to employee productivity and performance, a focus on financial wellbeing in the workplace can lead to a wealth of benefits, including improvements to employee physical and mental health (and thus reducing absenteeism and health benefit costs), talent recruitment and retention, and overall workforce morale. All and all, workplaces that offer financial education are directly helping their company’s most valuable resources with a major source of stress, resulting in a happier and healthier team.

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