How Financial Stress becomes a Workers Compensation Problem

california-workers-compensation-insuranceMany of your employees are stressed out about money. Many, if not most, are living paycheck to paycheck. At home with their families at night, they crunch the numbers and try to figure out how to pay the mortgage or the rent, keep food on the table, pay medical bills, take care of their kids, and save something for retirement. Then they get up in the morning and go to work, taking those financial worries with them.

The 2014 Employee Financial Wellness Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers confirms that employees’ increasing financial concerns include:

  • Not having enough emergency savings for unexpected expenses
  • Not being able to retire when they want to
  • Not being able to meet monthly expenses
  • Being laid off from work
  • Keeping up with debts
  • Paying for college

And those financial pressures are taking their toll in the workplace. According to the survey, as many as 24 percent of American workers experience distractions at their jobs due to personal financial issues and believe those financial pressures are negatively affecting their job performance.

It’s not just a problem for lower income workers either. While financial stress in the workplace affects a disturbing 60 percent of Millennials, older individuals making $100,000 a year or more also report feeling financial stresses at work.

Financial stress could be costing your company plenty – in multiple ways:

  • Low morale and reduced engagement
  • Reduced productivity and efficiency
  • Absenteeism
  • Mistakes leading to accidents/injuries, which increases workers compensation costs
  • Medical expenses and time off for injuries or illnesses

Nearly one out of four supervisors and HR administrators surveyed report that their employees’ personal financial stresses have taken a significant toll on production. And when employees start making mistakes that lead to accidents and injuries, the problem officially becomes a workers compensation problem. It may be a small part of the overall equation, but with some of the highest workers compensation costs in the nation, California employers need to use every tool at their disposal to cut those costs.

How are you helping your employees with financial stress?

 Even though many employers have implemented financial wellness initiatives, most polls still show that only a small percentage of employees feel their employers are providing them enough help in managing their finances. So it’s clear more needs to be done. What measures are you taking to help your employees alleviate their financial stress? Do you include financial literacy programs in your benefits offerings? What about free personal consultation services, voluntary classes, and online resources?

Education is a crucial piece of any financial wellness program, and there are specific areas where employees are struggling and could use advice:

  • Budgeting and managing expenses
  • Managing debts and liabilities
  • Investing and growing financial assets
  • Buying insurance and protecting against potential financial setbacks

Unfortunately, the number of American workers dealing with some type of financial stress is only growing, and those stress factors are detracting from their job performance and hurting your bottom line. It may sound surprising, but helping your employees with their personal financial management could actually result in a decrease in industrial injury expenses.

For other ideas on controlling the high cost of California workers compensation insurance, contact the team at Republic Capital. Also, make sure to download our free report, “How Much Could You Save by Self-Insuring Your Workers Compensation Program?”