Financial stress can impair employee performance and attendance

Financial stress can impair employee performance and attendance

Businesses that fail to tackle their employees’ financial stress are more likely to encounter poor work performance, lack of engagement, mental health issues and staff absenteeism, a new report from Neyber has claimed. Since last year, there has been a significant increase in the number of employees affected by financial worries; up from 58 percent to 63 percent, as well as those with less than one month’s savings; up from 24 percent to 32 percent. This stress on individuals is having a severe business impact. One in four employees said they had lost sleep over money troubles in the last year, one in ten said that they couldn’t focus on work and 6 percent said they had had to take time off work. All this adds up to a substantial cost for employers to bear. Neyber has calculated that the lost productivity and increased absence and employee turnover associated with financial stress costs UK companies in the region of £120.7 billion every year.

CEOs are largely aware that financial pressures impact employee behaviour, performance and relationships at work according to the study, the DNA of Financial Wellbeing 2018, which found that 72 percent of CEO’s understand the impacts of financial stress on employees and the business, while 51 percent of company owners and 74 percent of senior managers also do.

Heidi Allan, Head of Employee Wellbeing at Neyber, said: “Thousands of employees reported how financial worries are impacting them, including 35 percent who have felt stressed, 33 percent anxious, 26 percent lost sleep and 20 percent depressed.

“With the magnitude of this issue, it’s clear that employers have a vested interest in helping employees manage their money, so each can feel more educated and in control. From my view, there are three key issues; financial stress has a significant impact on productivity and
behaviour at work, there is a link between physical, mental and financial health, and billions of pounds are lost each year in absence and employee turnover.”

Business impacts of financial stress:

Employees who’ve been stressed                              35 percent

Employees who’ve lost sleep                                     26 percent

Employees who’ve been depressed                           20 percent

Employees who’ve been unable to focus at work      10 percent

Employees who’ve taken time off                              6 percent

Jonathan Hollow, Financial Capability, Strategy and Innovation at Money Advice Service, concluded: “Every employer should care about the findings in this report. A growing body of evidence shows that anxiety about finances leads to poorer mental, physical and social wellbeing, and that this affects attendance and performance at work. When your workforce suffers, your business can suffer too.”