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financial stress and mental health

Financial stress and its impact on mental health has seen a rise in absenteeism, poor work performance and a lowered concentration span at work, says corporate healthcare consultancy Alexander Forbes Health

financial stress and mental health
financial stress and mental health

Statistics from the World Federation for Mental Health show that on average 36 workdays are lost due to mental health issues and that more than 10% of the employed populations have taken time off work for depression. There has been a steady increase in the number of South African employees suffering from mental health problems over the past five years. And when financial difficulties and mental health problems are combined, you create a spiralling vicious circle where one compounds the other. Our workforce is stressed and depressed mainly due to job shortages, economic instability and inflation rates.

When people have debt which is causing them to worry, they don’t focus on work; they might be present but they are not productive. Poor work performance has a knock on effect on promotions and bonuses which further reduces earnings progression. With less than 50% of employees fully engaged while at work, businesses are not flourishing the way they should.

If you, as an employer, can help your employees overcome personal financial challenges, you will experience more success in your business. The signs of a financially stressed employee include; Inability to concentrate at work, low productivity, irregular attendance, taking out loans, salary increase requests, and general unhappiness.

How can you, as an employer, assist financially stressed employees? Encourage employee wellness, which includes Financial wellness. You can also provide them with tools and techniques to better manage their finances. can assist with effective financial wellness programs.

The main thing you need to remember is that you need to treat the symptoms as well as the cause of financial stress to ensure employees are happy in the workplace. At the end of the day, investing in your employees’ happiness will boost your business.

There are few things that can cause joy, shame, contentment, anxiety and stress the way that money does. As income levels continue to stagnate and the income gap continues to widen, talking and learning about money is crucial. When you ignore your financial situation, minor problems happening on a regular basis build up into more substantial problems. The repercussions of not talking about our finances can be severe, with negative consequences to our health, wealth and happiness. It’s time we all change the story and open up about money.

Break the silence!

It’s hard to learn about something when you’re discouraged from talking about it. In that way, silence becomes a tool for oppression.

As an employer, if your employees don't talk about or understand how to manage their own money, how will they know what's really at stake when it comes to your business? By teaching them how to keep their finances in order, they'll be more in tune with helping to increase your bottom line. By giving your employees tools that few others have, they can now teach their spouses, children and friends sound financial skills. Taking the ripple further, you are helping society and our country by educating people in a necessary but under-taught set of life skills.

Financial education can be a significant benefit for employees. But did you know it also benefits employers?

Employees who are better at managing their finances are less likely to end up with financial woes. That may also mean fewer requests for salary advances or hardship company loans. Financial stress can impact your workforce in negative ways by reducing worker productivity and increasing absenteeism. In fact, financial stress is more common than you might realise, and because we don’t talk about, we are less likely to find out about it. Contact today for effective Personal Financial Navigation training for your employees.

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