Employee Financial Health: How to Talk to Employees about Debt

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Alright, buckle up for this one!  On average, employees spend a staggering one-third of their lives at work. That’s a mind-boggling 90,000 hours, folks! It’s like having a second family with our co-workers. And you know what can sometimes happen in families? Troubles. Here’s the kicker: financial troubles are the number one stressor in this work-life equation. Combine that with the significant time spent on the clock, and boom! You have a perfect recipe for your employees’ money woes impacting their productivity and your company’s bottom line. Stress is stress, whether it’s at work or home, and it can seriously affect overall well-being. Here are some tips to help you talk to your employees about debt and personal finances. Together, we’ll conquer this challenge and foster employee financial health like never before!

1. Choose An Appropriate Setting

Schedule a private meeting in a neutral and confidential space.  This will allow for open and honest conversation without the fear of being judged. 

2. Create a Supportive Environment

Ensure that your employees feel comfortable and safe discussing their financial issues with you. Moreover, further build a relationship of trust and empathy so that they know you have their best interests in mind.

3. Be Respectful and Non-judgmental

Approach the situation with sensitivity and understanding that each employee’s financial situation is unique.  Avoid passing judgement and/or making assumptions about their financial choices. 

4. Focus on Financial Well-being

Frame the conversation as an opportunity to provide support for your employee’s overall financial health and well-being. Emphasizing you are there to offer support and guidance, within your means, and to connect them with solutions and resources.  In some instances, it may be necessary to make a referral to a professional for additional help, like a family counselor or credit counseling agency (Apprisen). 

5. Explore Workplace Benefits

Familiarize yourself with financial wellness resources available with your organization. Offer information about workshops or resources available internally and externally.  No financial wellness resources available within your organization?  No worries, Apprisen can help with that!  Simply explore our Employer Financial Wellness services here and discover the myriad ways we can support you in championing employee financial health in the workplace.

6. Most importantly, Maintain Confidentiality

It’s important to assure your employees that any personal financial information they share with you will be kept confidential. Moreover, this will help establish a level of trust and encourage your employees to be open so they may seek the support they need.

7. Provide Follow-up and Ongoing Support

By checking in with your employee from time to time to see how they are progressing and celebrating in their financial victories, you can effectively demonstrate your commitment to their financial well-being. Additionally, this ongoing support fosters a stronger relationship and boosts overall employee engagement.Notably, this fosters a stronger sense of support and engagement within the workplace.

Remember, discussing personal finances can be sensitive and your role as a manger is to provide guidance and support. Happy, healthy employees are more engaged. Engaged employees show increased productivity and far lower rate of absenteeism from work.  By fostering an environment of trust, empathy, and non-judgement, you can help your employees pave a positive path to financial wellness and financial stability.

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