One of the biggest enemies of productivity is a wandering mind. Every time your employees start thinking about their spouse, their car problems or what they’re going to do on the weekend, productivity suffers. And what do employees probably think about more than anything else? Money.

No matter how many times we hear that “money doesn’t buy happiness” or “there are more important things in life than money,” we are constantly thinking about our real, or perceived, money problems. In order to avoid this problem, some employers are being proactive by helping their employees save money and become financially secure. Debt does not discriminate, so it’s important to know that, regardless of someone’s annual salary, money problems can affect everyone.

Here are some tips on how you can help your employees save money and have peace of mind.

Ride together, save together – Each day, workers across the country jump into their cars and drive to work accompanied only by the three or four empty seats in their vehicle. Every ounce of gas they burn on their commute means a little bit of money disappearing from their pocket. To combat this problem, some businesses have started company-sponsored carpool initiatives. Mohawk College in Hamilton and the City of Mississauga are just two examples. In the Toronto area alone, hundreds of companies are using carpooling services to save their employees money.

Many companies just organize the carpools; others have signed on with Smart Commute, a carpooling program developed by Metrolinx in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. In some cases, employees are incentivized to join the carpools by having an extra $2 to $5 added to their paycheques each day.

Worry-free childcare – Any new parent knows the struggle to find quality daycare. And once a spot is located, the morning and afternoon commute is lengthened by the time it takes to drop off and pick up the little one. Not to mention the necessity to leave work early when a son or daughter becomes sick during the day. All of this affects employee performance and productivity.

Simon Fraser University is one of a number of workplaces that offer on-site daycare for their employees. Kathy Hart, a university spokesperson, says she sees and hears how it has improved the lives of university employees. She says parents enjoy the convenience of being able to visit their children on breaks and see them walking around campus during the day. Hart adds that it has allowed families to connect with each other in relationships that extend outside of the workplace.

So you think you can save? – Competition can bring out the best in all of us. Many companies have made an effort to have healthier employees by sponsoring workplace-wide “Biggest Loser” competitions. Employees benefit by becoming healthier and receiving prizes for their hard work, and companies benefit from increases in morale and reduced sick days.

Many companies shy away from talking about money because of the same old-fashioned taboo. However, a forward-thinking organization can face the problem by organizing a “Biggest Saver” competition. Camp Darby, an American military post in Italy, ran a saving money contest that had their members keep track of how much they had saved by using coupons. The winner saved nearly $350 in a two-week span. Having employees compete to see who can save the most money from their paycheque or who can stretch $50 into the most meals will have a positive effect on their bank accounts and worker productivity.

In order to be as efficient and productive as possible, companies need to have all of their employees focused on their work. Encouraging saving in the workplace will take away one major source of stress and distraction for workers. The phrase “It’s not how much you earn, it’s how much you save” comes to mind. Helping your employees save will end up benefiting not only them but also the company as a whole. Soon you’ll have an army of physically, mentally and financially healthy staff working at full capacity. Happy saving!

Jeffrey Schwartz is the executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada and president of the Credit Association of Greater Toronto. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Benefits Canada.

Related articles:

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

Join us on Twitter

Add a comment

Have your say on this topic! Comments that are thought to be disrespectful or offensive may be removed by our Benefits Canada admins. Thanks!

* These fields are required.
Field required
Field required
Field required