Employees are stressed out. Not just from work, but from financial concerns too.
Stress over money takes a physical toll on workers, contributing to health-related costs and decreases in productivity. MetLife’s 2011 Employee Benefits Trends Study found that 68 percent of employees who consider themselves healthy also have control over their finances, compared to 7 percent of employees who are in fair or poor health who have control.
Receiving financial guidance is one way to alleviate those distractions and reduce absences. A good example is MetLife’s program, Plan Smart. The program is free to clients who meet certain criteria and provides onsite financial sessions for employees and their spouse or partner. In the sessions, they look at a number of factors in their own finances, such as how much they save, how much they spend, what their debts are, as well as guidance about Medicare and Social Security.
Leopold says the unearthing can be “grim”, but people who have gone through the program say they begin saving more and spending less, and feel more empowered. “People have even said they feel like they got a raise,” Leopold says.