It’s Time to Prioritize Employees’ Financial Health

Published on HBR January 02, 2024
Written by Manisha Thakor

When an individual has financial health, they experience greater overall well-being and bring their best selves to the workplace. Unfortunately, 80% of employees report being financially stressed, and only 28% of employers offer financial wellness programs. Today’s workers must navigate complicated benefits packages and make critical decisions about their personal finances with limited or no guidance from their employers. This article discusses three steps you as an employer can take to boost the financial health of your employees and alleviate money-related stress and distractions: 1) take an “ecosystem” approach to employees’ financial health, 2) help employees effectively navigate benefits, and 3) recruit an external firm or in-house expert to provide education on financial well-being.


You may not realize it, but many of your employees are in financial distress. And they need your help.

According to a 2022 survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), 35% of U.S. adults say they are “just getting by financially” and worry that their money won’t last. Money worries have become so distracting, says benefits consulting firm Financial Finesse, that 80% of U.S. employees queried between 2021 and 2022 report at least “some level of financial stress,” with 27% experiencing “high or overwhelming” stress.

All that stress is not only harmful to your employees’ mental and physical health; it can be lethal to your bottom line. A 2023 report by the TIAA Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) found that employees spend an average of eight hours a week dealing with financial issues — with four of those hours occurring at work.


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