When I can, I watch the television show "Undercover Boss." In the show, a top manager, usually the CEO goes undercover as someone changing jobs, entering a new profession. Employees are told the camera crew is shooting a documentary. In the end, the undercover boss rewards the hardworking employees, usually with money to pay for college, rent, transportation, or a vacation.
In general, the employees on the show s seem to have financial problems. So, it came as no surprise to me to read the results of a survey "Financial Education Initiatives in the Workplace" by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). (See the attached.) Human resources (HR) managers were asked, "In the past 12 months, have employees been more likely to dip into their employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, compared with previous years?" A majority (72 percent) of those surveyed agreed.
HR managers reported that personal financial challenges have an impact on employee productivity in their organizations. Employees struggling financially, have trouble focusing on work and feel stress. The top financial challenges were lack of monetary funds to cover personal expenses, medical expenses, and saving for retirement.
More than half (52 percent) of organizations represented in the survey provide financial education to their employees. Education might include financial planning, budgeting, paying for education, debt reduction, credit card use, homeownership, and taxes. Some offer financial counseling and resources.
What are some good business reasons (besides improving employee productivity) for managers and employees to focus on financial education and counseling programs?