Ep 15 – Why You Need to Think About Financial Wellness Now

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Ep 15 – Why You Need to Think About Financial Wellness Now

Financial wellness is one of those things I don’t think we talk enough about especially when you think about that for most of us our paychecks from our jobs are our primary source of income. I’m not talking just about 401(k) enrollment and direct deposit conversations with your new hires.

More than half of all employees want to make their own financial decisions but are looking to have someone validate that decision. Employees want financial wellness benefits with access to unbiased counselors and help understanding and using their benefits.

And yet financial wellness is something that is grossly overlooked. I came across a great report from PwC that dives into financial wellness. It’s the 2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey. I’ll link to it in the transcript of this podcast.

A few more highlights from the PwC survey include, fifty-four percent of employees say that are stressed about their finances. I think about that stress and how it impacts us personally and professionally. When you are the one who is experiencing stress, it isn’t always easy to see how it is impacting you. You have these personal blinders on where you tell yourself and others, “I am really okay.” but the truth is that fifty-four percent of us are really not. Dr. Cynthia Akrill reminds me in a previous Workology podcast that not all stress is bad stress.

First of all I think it’s really important to note that stress is not all bad. Stress is part of life and how we frame the challenge that’s before us makes an enormous difference in how our body and mind respond to it. So when a person experiences too much stress it’s as many things in life. There’s this bell curve. And as the stress increases in the beginning your performance starts to rise. But as it goes further it starts to go down again and it’s not just your performance at work. It’s the performance of your body as an as a health machine that goes down you name any negative outcome and whether it’s health productivity especially anything about your body that negative outcome can either be precipitated by or worsened by stress which makes sense because your body is putting all of its energy into reacting to the perceived danger that stresses it doesn’t have the energy to do all of the other things like executive function repair of your immune system proper growth making the right neuron connections to learn things is compromised because all the energy is being spent on this stress management system how that turns out for the individual.

Now that part is really individual the number one symptom noticed by most people is irritability first. But it could be doing so many other things. Some people are headache people. That’s me. Some people grit their teeth. Some people have stomach issues. A lot of people get that dizzy brain feeling. You can’t really focus as well. A lot of different things and for other people they don’t experience anything but it’s silently doing something the heart attack. Unfortunately I’ve wound up with some really great clients because they’ve lost someone they know about as an early age to heart attack or some other catastrophe that was somehow related to stress. And it manifests differently in everybody according to what your Achilles heel is and and how you’re experiencing it.

So maybe it’s not just about financial wellness but also providing our employees with other tools such as stress management and meditation programs too. All of these combined can make for a better life and also a more productive and present employee.

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2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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