The Society for Human Resource Management recently conducted a survey of HR professionals and found a 12 percent decrease in the number of employers who offer their employees financial education. Other portions of the survey covered personal financial challenges and how these challenges affect the workers and their job performance. Data for this survey was gathered from December 2011 through January 2012 and the results are available on the SHRM website.
Employees responses to the survey indicated that employees were engaging in some surprising money habits that might not necessarily be in their long-term best interests. For instance:
- When asked if employees have taken out money from their retirement savings plan more in the last year than in previous years, 17 percent – strongly agreed and 55 percent agreed. This reflects a large number of employees turning to retirement funds to meet current expenses- a move that can have significant tax and other long-term consequences.
- Overall lack of monetary funds was the biggest concern of 49 percent of employees, while medical expenses were the main worry for 35 percent of survey respondents.
- 22 percent of employees responding to the survey reported that their financial challenges were having a large impact on their work. 61 percent reported at least some impact on their work as a result of financial stressors.
- 47 percent of responding employees reported having difficulty focusing on their jobs as a result of their financial concerns.
Managers and HR personnel need to be aware of the financial struggles of their employees during these current hard economic times. Perhaps financial education should be offered by more employers rather than less. By helping employees deal with their financial problems, employers will see happier workers and better productivity.