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The pandemic has altered almost every aspect of our lives. It has exposed fault lines in our country, workplaces, and at home. Many of us didn’t realize one area would significantly impact us as it has: financial well-being. This is why it is more important than ever to talk about financial literacy:
According to a survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education:
- 88 percent of Americans say the COVID-19 crisis has caused stress on their personal finances
- 89% believe that lack of financial education contributes to larger-scale social problems in America
- And 83 percent of HR professionals report that personal finance worries had an enormous impact on overall employee performance
So, as we look ahead to what a post-pandemic workplace looks and feels — and because we know business leaders and HR professionals want to do everything possible to keep employees focused and productive — we at TalentCulture must ask a tough question:
What role should employers play in the financial literacy of their employees?
Our Guest: Personal Finance Expert and Mentor, Danny Kofke
Danny Kofke, a Motivational Mentor for Mentoro — a financial education company that provides a turn-key financial awareness solution — joined me on this week’s episode of #WorkTrends Conversations to help answer our question. Danny began our conversation by telling us what aspects of financial literacy have changed most since the pandemic started:
“Unfortunately, even before the pandemic hit, a lot of people weren’t doing well with their money. But the pandemic has definitely had a detrimental effect on many people’s finances. Many are not aware of their options; they are relying much more on debt.” After Danny, a former school teacher, explained that financial literacy is never taught in school, he emphasized that the sense of urgency for many employees is real; people are hurting now. He then answered our question about how employers can help:
“The pandemic is almost over. But for many, the next crisis — a financial crisis — is coming. That’s where a financial wellness program can definitely play a part.”
Which is precisely the role employers can play as we co-create the post-pandemic workplace with our employees.
The Key to Financial Literacy: Employer-Driven Education
“The annual cost of financial stress to the employer,” Danny went on to say, “in lost productivity and absenteeism is over $2,000 a year per employee. An employer-driven financial wellness program not only help minimize that stress, but it also increases company loyalty.” Danny added that employees see this benefit as an example of their employer going above and beyond, providing education designed to help them with their finances and overall well-being.
During our conversation, Danny convinced me that employers are uniquely positioned to help their employees become financially literate — today and in the long-term. For employees struggling with their post-pandemic financial situations, employers can help right away by saying:
“I’m never going to allow my employees to face this alone again. We can help take this burden off them.”
To learn more about Danny and how he can help you help your employees, reach out to him on LinkedIn.
And, of course, as you consider a financial wellness program as part of your comprehensive employee benefits package, check out Mentoro — and be sure to thank them for sponsoring this episode of #WorkTrends Conversations!