"Our calls in general for mortgage-related issues are up over three times compared to last year," says Richard Chaifetz, CEO of ComPsych. "(Employees) become preoccupied with financial issues at work. You see absenteeism, lack of performance and turnover as people look for jobs that may pay more." ComPsych, for those interested is focused the business aspect of the equation and offers products and services to that end.
The not-for-profit company Personal Finance Employees Education Foundation, inc. led by the renowned Dr. E. Thomas Garmin, works to achieve three goals: (1) The lack of financial literacy--spending plans, credit management, and savings--is the major reason why employees do not save for retirement; (2) Money worries hinder employee job performance; and (3) Providing employees easy access to basic financial literacy education programs improves their personal financial behaviors and job performance as well as the employer's bottom line.
These folks act as an intermediary advisors, taking donations for its efforts with a volunteer board and recommending programs designed to further the education process. Those donations can run from as little as $500 to $100,000.
According to Dr. Thomas R. Watson, a leading expert on workplace financial education, employers who provide a “sound investment in employees, a quality financial education program would benefit your business for years to come. Workers become more tolerant of budget cuts that prevent expected increases in pay. Fewer employees work second jobs or seek higher paying jobs at the expense of their employer. Employees who are more cost-conscious at home should be more cost-conscious at work.”
In the end, this reduces absenteeism and, for the employer, that means increased profits. When a business focuses on human capital, something that has a reduced importance to employers as the worker ages, it can increase an employee’s financial capital. Their efforts may in the end be somewhat of a Sisyphean challenge. The hardest part is not in the education of employees, it is in the creation of a permanent change in attitude about a future that lies solely in their hands.