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Money Matters: How EAPs Help Employees with Financial Stress

They say money isn’t everything. But try telling that to someone who’s having financial difficulties. For them, it can seem like the end of the world. It’s distracting, stressful and can lead to feelings of utter hopelessness.

Inevitably, we all face financial uncertainty in our lifetimes. In fact, recent data shows an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults are currently in debt. By the slimmest of margins, Generation Y leads the way at 81.5%.

Before you go blaming their debt on youthful indiscretion, baby boomers (born 1946-1964) are right behind them at 80.9%, and Gen Xers (born 1961-1981) are a close third at 79.9%. By comparison, many millennials (born 1981-1996) are just getting out of college and are likely knee-deep in student loans. They’re also getting their own place and maybe their first car. Essentially, they’re getting their first real taste of financial responsibility.

Regardless of age, financial burdens can overwhelm the best of us. And those burdens follow us wherever we go… including to work. And studies show that employers are feeling the effect.

Mo’ money, mo’ problems

According to Forbes, employees who struggle with money problems can be a financial burden on their employers in several ways:

Today, companies are discovering the benefits of improving employee well-being through financial training and guidance. More and more, job seekers consider financial wellness programs a major factor when weighing prospective employers.

So what can you, as an employer, do to help employees manage the undercurrent of financial stress?

Providing a resource

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are a great resource for employees to confidentially address private concerns and hardships. Given the connection between stress and money – and the link between financial problems and work productivity – many EAPs include financial counseling and planning.

Whether an employee faces new financial stresses or experiences ongoing money concerns, an EAP can be a valuable source of information. Employees can engage with counseling services on goal-setting, budgeting, credit-report analysis, debt management, savings plans and more. And when the time comes for big purchases like a new car or house, EAP counselors can walk them through the complexities of those buying processes.

Giving employees access to free financial guidance through an EAP is mutually beneficial. It shows them you have their best interests in mind by arming them with the power to regain control over money matters and make healthy financial decisions. They gain peace of mind and, as a result, feel happier and more secure.

In turn, investing in employees’ financial health can reap big dividends for your business: increased morale, boosted productivity and reduced attrition. To employers and employees alike, that’s everything.