The Impact of Debt on Employee Productivity: Employer’s Guide

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It’s no secret that many of us bear the weight of debt. However, how we approach it or the lack thereof can be the difference between a healthy, happy life or one plagued with stress, discontent and low motivation.  Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes even with a solid financial plan to crush debt, unexpected things happen. The key (in my opinion) is how we respond.  People are 11 times more likely to have sleepless nights and 9 times more likely that their quality of work will be affected when they’re burdened with financial issues. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There are many tools and resources available, and one might just be as close as their place of employment. 

If you’re an employer, you may be wondering how financial stress can affect your employees and your bottom line, but most importantly, how you can help.  Debt can be a major stress for employees, which can significantly impact their productivity in the workplace. Here are a few ways in which debt stress can manifest itself in the workplace. 

How Debt Can Impact Employee Productivity

  • Distracted/Reduced Focus
    • When employees are struggling to manage debt, they may feel overwhelmed and distracted. This makes it difficult to focus on the task at hand and perform to the best of their ability.  Distractions can take away their focus on work tasks which could result in a higher risk of on-the-job injuries. 
  • Weakened Company Culture
    • Stress of any kind may affect employee morale but employees who are financially burdened are 9 times more likely to have poor communication amongst team members leading to troubled workplace relationships. This may lead to low morale, high turnover rates and increased training costs. A strong and healthy company culture is vital to the success of any company or organization.  
  • Increased Absenteeism
    • Debt stress can affect an employee’s financial stability and overall well-being.  This can lead to increased absenteeism, as employees may need to take time off to handle their financial matters. Financially burdened employees are 10 times more likely to not be able to finish daily tasks thus placing an increased workload on other employees.   
  •  Reduced Job Satisfaction
    • Employees who become overwhelmed with money matters may start to feel unsatisfied and undervalued by their employer.  This may lead to reduced engagement and motivation, further impacting their job performance.  

What Employees Need to Know

As an employer, you may be asking what steps you could take to positively impact your employees on their financial journey.  I’m glad you asked! Below are a few suggestions to consider: 

  • Financial Wellness Programs
    • Offering Financial Wellness programs and resources can be a great first step in helping your employees improve their financial knowledge and manage their debt.  Apprisen offers custom Financial Wellness programs tailored to meet the needs of your employees.  This includes on-demand financial education, tools and resources.  We provide custom solutions for debt and credit management, too. 
  • Flex Schedules
    • Employers may consider offering employee benefits such as flexible work schedule or additional paid time off to help employees manager their financial issues without sacrificing productivity. 
  • Incentives
    • Employers may consider incentivizing employees to engage in Financial Wellness programs.  Prevention is less costly than intervention and may provide tools and resources to help mitigate the effects of financial stress.  

By proactively supporting employees financial well-being, employers can help reduce the negative impact of debt on their employees’ productivity and create a more supportive and engage workplace culture.  

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