However, the problem is hitting their bottom lines fast, in the form of increased absenteeism, tardiness and lost productivity. Employers recognize that stressed and depressed workers are not productive. The scope and severity of the problem are becoming clearer, according to
a series of recent studies.
- A 2018 study from employee benefits firm Neybert found that 35% of employees have been stressed by money concerns in the last year. 10% have been unable to focus while working, and 6% have missed work.
- In 2017, research from Willis Towers Watson concluded that nearly half (48%) of US workers worry about their current financial situation and even more (59%) feel stress when considering their future financial outlook.
- A 2016 poll from Harris Interactive revealed that 37% of employees manage their finances at work, with more than a third of those spending up to three hours weekly dealing with their finances.
The path forward to financial well-being
It’s clear that the financial services industry — and insurers in particular — have a role to play. It’s just as clear that previous efforts haven’t paid off fully, which means a new approach is necessary. Financial education has been around for years but hasn’t fundamentally changed behaviors. As important as financial literacy is, it’s not enough by itself to increase the general sense of financial well-being or move large numbers of consumers closer to their goals. It’s clear that insurers — as well as retirement firms and wealth managers — should focus on a more integrated and holistic approach that addresses the components of financial well-being and that has a chance at changing behaviors.
The question is, how do traditional players who are capable of providing solutions for many elements of financial well-being through their savings, investments and protection products develop an approach that takes a comprehensive view and actually helps change consumer behavior?