Money Management International, a nonprofit credit counseling organization, is touting the results of a recent survey it conducted as evidence that employers can significantly reduce stress among their employees by offering them financial counseling resources.
MMI announced recently 86 percent of the 150 employees it provided financial counseling to at an Oregon-based nonprofit health agency say they have less stress related to money as a result of the counseling.
In addition, most of the employees at Samaritan Health Services say the counseling led to them achieving certain financial goals, such as reducing debt (60 percent), setting aside more money for retirement (38 percent), boosting their credit score (30 percent) or buying a home (8 percent).
"At MMI, we know that financial coaching, counseling, and education work, but seeing the incredible, positive impact this program has made on the financial outlook of these clients is simply amazing,” says Julie Griffith, Mapping Your Future account manager, in a statement accompanying the study’s release.
Other research has shown employers are increasingly viewing financial counseling as a key component of wellness initiatives due to the significant psychological and emotional toll money-related anxiety takes on employees.
In addition to causing depression, sleep deprivation and all sorts of health problems that reduce an employee’s productivity, financial stress often distracts employees from their work. A survey last year showed that 37 percent of U.S. employees report spending time on the job thinking about or dealing with personal finances.
The awakening to the importance of financial wellness coincides with a number of studies which shed light on young Americans’ lack of savings. One study found a solid majority of Americans have less than $500 in savings. Another found that the U.S. personal savings rate was just 5.7 percent, roughly half of what it was 50 years ago.