Employers have role in mitigating impact of financial stress: report

Stress related to financial well-being has a major impact on the workforce, according to a new report by Arthur J. Gallagher and Co.

With Canadians loaded down by major debt and with many lacking proper retirement savings, employees are more likely to be distracted at work and older workers are more likely to stay in the workplace for longer because they’re unable to afford retirement, hiking up employer costs and blocking the career paths for younger workers.

The report suggested that providing staff with financial wellness tools, education and resources will lead to less financial stress and better outcomes for the organization. As well, investing in employees’ career well-being through methods such as clear career paths, flexible work and compensation plans aligned with the company’s strategy will enhance the chances of keeping employees, as well as attracting new ones.

Read: Prevention key to addressing the psychological impacts of financial stress

“Many employers have become accustomed to selecting benefits and compensation packages based on cost alone, but they risk losing their most valuable employees as a result,” said Leslie Lemenager, regional president of Gallagher’s employee benefits consulting and brokerage, in a news release. “With clear and consistent two-way communication, destination employers approach benefits and compensation more holistically, assessing the diverse wants and needs of their employees so they make more informed decisions that support their value proposition.”

The report recommended that employers conduct an assessment of their workplace culture to determine which resources they have to address employees’ emotional and physical well-being, and where they can improve. As well, the report highlighted the importance of aligning human resources strategies with technology strategies to help protect against cybersecurity threats and ensure employers are adequately addressing compliance issues.

Read: Financial well-being affecting work performance, stress levels