Employee Financial Literacy Blog

Do you know Jack... about employee financial education?

Posted by Frank Wiginton on Sun, Aug 23, 2015

Watch Jack's story come alive right before your eyes. Watch and listen to the story about Jack's company and how they turned their productivity and profitability woes into wins through an employee financial education program.

Employee Financial Education White Paper

Tags: Employee wellness, Financial Literacy, employee financial education

Personal Finances Costing Canadian Businesses $51 BILLION a Year!

Posted by Frank Wiginton on Tue, Nov 12, 2013

Productivity Lost to financial distressThrough our Financial Education in the Workplace survey of Canadian employees, we learned that 25% are financially distressed and an additional 41% are stressed when it comes to their finances.

Through research we know that financially distressed employees spend an average of 13% of their day at work dealing with their finances and the others who are less stressed spend on average 4% of their day at work but not working (presenteeism).

This alone adds up to lost productivity of Canadian workers totaling more than $51 BILLION!

Working Population 17,500,000  
Average Income $47,868  
Employee Cost $11,967  
Financially Distressed (25%) 4,375,000 13%
Financially Stressed (41%) 7,175,000 4%
Lost Productivity cost $51,203,801,250  

Although this may be an over simplification of the calculation a deeper in-depth analysis will only lead to an even larger value. Financial stress doesn’t only impact employees’ productivity; it also impacts their overall wellness. More than 60% of employees cite personal finances as their number one stress.

Financial stress impacts mental health: Those with high debt stress are six times more likely to suffer from depression and seven times more likely to suffer from high anxiety. Their physical health is impacted as well: employees are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, three and half times more likely to suffer from ulcers and digestive track problems, and three times as likely to suffer from migraines or headaches.

Debt Stress

Financial illiteracy is becoming a pandemic in this country and it is time for Canadian businesses to recognize the impact it is having on their bottom line.

Take a few minutes to learn more about how financial education can increase productivity and profitability in your organization by downloading the whitepaper: http://info.employeefinancialeducation.ca/Employee-Financial-Literacy-White-Paper

Employee Financial Education White Paper




Tags: Employee wellness, workplace wellness, financially distressed, Financial Literacy, presenteeism, financial wellness, absenteeism, corporate financial education, employee financial education, employee education, wellness

The Tipping Point to a Successful Wellness Program

Posted by Frank Wiginton on Wed, May 08, 2013

{This post was originally written for the HRIA newsletter}

Financial WellnessSTRESS has the biggest impact on  workplace wellness. Many wellness programs have a strong focus on stress management that addresses the symptoms of stress but not the cause.

For decades now this has been a focus of many surveys and studies. The results of these studies have consistently identified the two principle causes of stress to be work and personal finances.

The impact of this stress has led to a myriad of health issues and behaviours that negatively affect the employee’s productivity and ability to conduct themself appropriately. Most companies already provide programs to help employees with their work stress but what about the bigger contributor to employee stress - personal finances?

Employee financial education must be a critical component of any wellness program because if the largest contributor to employee stress is not addressed, the effectiveness of any wellness program will be limited.

In 2009, Desjardin Financial did a survey and found that 61% of people cited personal finances as their #1 source of stress. In 2012, the Employee Financial Education Division found that 48% of employees felt their level of financial stress was high-to-overwhelming and that more than half (52%) indicated distress over financial matters contributed to irritability, anger, fatigue and sleeplessness. In fact, research from the Consumer Credit Council Services in the US found that employees who are financially distressed spend on average an hour a day at work dealing with their personal finances.

To quickly understand if your organization’s employees may be struggling with personal finances, take a look at drug benefits usage and EAP service requests. Since 2008, Shepell fgi has reported that the number of EAP requests for help with personal finances has exceeded all other EAP requests combined.

A comprehensive financial education program for employees that addresses much more than just pensions and retirement will have a significant impact on reducing the financial stress of employees. Employee financial education isn’t the only solution to substantially reducing employee stress, but it needs to be part of the solution.

A short story to illustrate the point:

Barbara woke up early as usual to start her day and to enjoy a few minutes of quiet before her husband Mike and two children got up. Sitting in the kitchen, lingering over a cup of coffee, her mind started racing through the many things she needed to do. Once again she had awoken with a headache, which she strongly felt as she looked around the kitchen and saw the mail sitting in a neat pile. Barb slowly stood up to get some Tylenol and as she fussed with the protective cap she glanced down at the mail pile noting, for the hundredth time, that these bills needed to be handled. Then, her household began waking and it took her mind away from the stress of bills and finances and back to getting on with the day.

Barbara arrived at work, head still pounding, and reviewed the tasks ahead. A reminder popped up, saying that she needed to get her son Brandon some new skates for this weekend’s hockey tournament.

After work, Barb and Brandon went out to get his new skates and she couldn’t believe how expensive they were, especially since they were only going to last him one year. At the cash register, the cashier looked at Barb and said “I’m sorry ma’am but your card has been declined. Do you have another one or would like to pay with cash or debit?” Embarrassed and slightly angry, Barb dug out her debit card and bought the skates.On the way home she called Mike and began to berate him about the credit card, asking why it had not been paid.

That evening and the next morning no one in the house was happy. Barb was STRESSED and didn’t feel like talking to anyone at the office. She sat quietly through the morning meeting and could only think about the night before. Barb’s boss, Sarah, called her into her office just before lunch to ask what was going on. They talked and Sarah told her to take the afternoon off and go to the gym to attend two of the new wellness workshops.

Barb really got into the yoga class and the teacher welcomed anyone who wished to stay for a session on mindfulness meditation. Barb enjoyed the meditation and found that she was much calmer, relaxed, and de-stressed at the end of it.

Barb was feeling much better as she arrived home earlier than usual and was pleasantly surprised to find the house was empty and quiet, noting that Mike had uncharacteristically cleaned up the kitchen before leaving in the morning. She was thinking how great it was to feel relaxed for a change when she saw the pile of bills. Instantly, she was angry. She could feel the stress and anxiety come flooding back as the heat in her shoulders built, her blood pressure mounted and another one of her headaches started. Barb grabbed the pile of bills and threw it across the kitchen as she started cry. A moment later her daughter walked in with a frightened look on her face. Barb quickly tried to compose herself and reassure her daughter that she was just stressed out and there was nothing for her to worry about. She gave her a big hug as tears began coming back, and she vowed to get their finances in order once and for all.

Later that evening as Barb and Mike went through all their bills, Barb thought back to how relaxed she was after the afternoon of yoga and mindfulness and realized it was all for nothing. She was just as stressed now as she was before. As she and Mike talked while pouring over all the statements, they both realized that they needed help with their finances. If only their wellness program addressed personal finances. 

Financial Education White Paper Series

Tags: Employee wellness, workplace wellness, financial wellness, employee financial education