As a business leader, you want to be the hero for your team. You hope they see you as confident and competent. A trail blazer. A problem solver. A resource. You want to be in their corner, and you want to have their back. And you want to help them—even if it’s a personal issue.
You may be one of those great leaders and still be unaware of one of the biggest hurdles to your team members’ work production. That’s because they’re not likely to talk about this particular issue with their coworkers, much less their boss.
What’s killing their output?
Why Money Woes Worry Workers
Over and over, surveys confirm that finances top the list of things people worry about. They’re anxious about living paycheck to paycheck, car repairs, paying for their kids’ college tuition, the mortgage, and hosts of other little concerns. In fact, 47% of Americans wouldn’t be able to come up with the cash for a $400 emergency. They’d have to sell something or borrow the money.
Those worries don’t magically disappear when team members walk through your door. It’s there in the back of their minds, nagging at them even as they work. You may have seen their distracted look in staff meetings. The lights are on, but nobody’s home.
Why does that matter to you? Because when your team members are thinking about their financial problems, they’re less productive and less efficient. You’d worry if a computer lost its speed and output, right? The same thing can happen to your most important asset: your team members. Especially when their financial situation is grim.
Here’s where you can become the hero. You can offer financial education that could help pull people out of debt and onto solid financial ground. You can give them the knowledge and skills they need to turn their situation around. When you do, they feel like you care about them, and their production goes back up. Win/win.
What Do You Cover?
You may have incredibly sharp people in your company, but you can’t assume that they’re all smart with money. When it comes to financial education, you need to offer a variety of topics that range from the very basic to the more advanced. Here are a few areas of learning to consider:
- Budgets—why you need one and how to start it
- Retirement—options your company offers, including employee matching
- Debt reduction—why debt is bad and how to get out of it
- Investing—what you need to know about the stock market and other investment options
- Saving—why you need an emergency fund
- College planning—how to avoid student loan debt
- Borrowing from investments—why you shouldn’t ever do it
If you ask team members, they’ll tell you what they want to learn about most. You can prioritize the learning opportunities from there. And because we’re in the digital age, you can provide information in a variety of formats, including:
- Lunch and learns
- Online chats
The more topics and delivery options you offer, the higher your participation rate. Encouraging employees to take part during business hours will also increase their engagement. Remember, the more involvement you have, the more productive and less distracted team members will be—and that impacts the bottom line.
Your team members need to feel empowered. They need to believe that they can change their financial situations and create better futures for their families. When you make financial wellness a priority, you are giving your employees the tools they need to make smarter decisions and create a positive legacy.
And that’s a wise investment, no matter what kind of business you own.
Want to help your team build a secure financial future? Smart Dollar offers a step-by-step approach to creating a budget, getting out of debt and building a retirement plan. Learn more today at smartdollar.com!