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Financial Stress Makes You Less Productive – 5 Steps to Strengthen Your Finances

Workers are so stressed about their finances that it’s costing companies seven hours each week  in lost productivity. 78% of leaders recognize the financial stress is leading to higher turnover. Gen Z employees are the most impacted, with 86% losing more than eight hours each week in productivity.

These results are from the 2024 Wellness Barometer Survey, conducted by financial wellness company BrightPlan and research firm Workplace Intelligence. The January 2024 survey included 1,400 knowledge workers at global companies with 1,000 or more employees in the U.S. Respondents included a mix of C-level, HR and employees from industries including technology, healthcare, financial services, education, manufacturing, energy, account and government.

“Among the leaders we surveyed, 75% admit that their company places more importance on profits than employee well-being. What leaders don’t recognize, however, is that ignoring workers’ needs for financial support is having a sizable impact on their bottom line," says Marthin De Beer, founder and CEO, BrightPlan. "Investing in financial benefits isn’t just the right thing to do for your people— it’s also critical to driving business success and longevity.”

If you’re stressed financially, your team is suffering, or both, share these findings with senior leaders and HR to see if you can generate more support. The gains in productivity and decrease in turnover may be tantalizing enough to introduce new financial benefits. In the meantime, here are five additional steps you can take to strengthen your financial foundation:

1. Identify the financial problems where you need support

Do you need help with budgeting, (loud budgeting or otherwise), so programs on developing good money habits would be a priority? Do you have savings but are unsure how to invest, so financial literacy would be more helpful? Is your concern more about the emotions around money than the numbers, so a support group or access to a planner is the best next step?

Just taking some time to reflect on where you need support will strengthen your financial foundation because it will enable you to pinpoint the help you need. You might realize that you’re better off then you assumed. Even if you uncover multiple concerns from your self-reflection, you’ll be able to prioritize these and share your list with people who can help.

2. Enroll your manager’s help

An interesting finding from the survey was that leaders are also struggling with financial stress, so your manager may welcome a conversation about the impact this issue is having on your work. Think about how your manager can be most helpful for your situation specifically. They might know of employers benefits you hadn’t thought of. If they’re good with money themselves, they may be able to mentor you on this issue specifically. They also can help you restructure your overall work when you feel overwhelmed, buying you some bandwidth to tackle the financial concerns.

3. Take advantage of existing company benefits and resources

If your manager doesn’t know about employer resources that can help, check with HR. Even if your employer doesn’t offer financial programs in-house, there might be general training funds you can use for this purpose. Check with employee resource groups, which might have financial programs as part of their calendar.

4. Lead the way on a new financial wellness program

If your employer doesn’t offer anything, consider starting something. This will help solve your financial concerns and provide career benefits as a bonus. You might get visibility to leadership for proposing something. You might learn new skills on a cross-functional team with HR, legal and other groups who could get tasked with looking at the recruiting, retention and productivity benefits. You could find yourself in a leadership role with an employee resource group (or as the founder of a new one!). The first step doesn’t have to be a big one – you could propose bringing in a one-time speaker to present on financial stress, or offer to present a summary on the Wellness Barometer Survey.

5. Don’t wait for your employer to solve your financial stress

In addition to trying any or all of the above steps at your employer, there are ways to strengthen your financial foundation on your own. Start a spending diary to track your expenses. Read finance blogs and books. Enroll a friend who is also trying to improve their money habits, and be each other’s accountability partners.

You have goals. We have solutions. Meet with a banker for a financial review. 

This article was written by Caroline Ceniza-Levine from Forbes and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to

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