As a small business owner, you spend a fair amount of time dealing with financial matters. When you’re not looking at the books, you likely keep cash flow and overall solvency on your mind. But what about your employees? Yes, they work for you and receive a paycheck, which contributes positively to their personal financial situation. But do they know what’s going on, financially, with the company? And should you care?
Investing in your employees’ knowledge of finance and money management could be time well spent. Not only will it make them happier, and therefore more productive and loyal, but they in turn could help your business by being more financially responsible with your money.
Reduce Employee Stress — and Absences
Financial issues stress employees out. They might appear cheerful when they’re at your place of business, but when they go home, they worry about money. A 2018 employee financial wellness survey conducted by PwC reported that nearly half of respondents saw money matters as a significant source of stress. Fewer than 50% of respondents felt they would be able to retire on their own terms, and two-thirds weren’t sure either their retirement plans or Social Security would provide for them in retirement.
Forbes echoed the overall sentiment that money matters stress employees. The 2018 article said that stress could lead to employee absences. 10% of those who miss work due to stress could be out of the office as many as 21 days per month. A separate U.K. study cited in the article said that from 2016 to 2017, U.K. employers lost a total of 12.5 million working days due to stress.
The message is clear: stress can keep employees at home. Educating your employees on money management helps foster their peace of mind and keep them coming into work on schedule.
Keeping the attention of your employees is a challenge under the best of circumstances. But what is on an employee’s mind can also be distracting. A Nov. 2017 article on Benefitspro.com said that as many as 80% of workers stressed by personal finance issues say that the issues distracts them at work.
A distracted employee is an unproductive one. A March 2019 story in Inc. said distracted or disengaged employees — a phenomenon called “presenteeism” (as opposed to absenteeism) — could cost companies collectively as much as $250 billion annually. As a small business owner, those distractions cost you, as well. Taking time to help employees know more about their financial situation can help you recoup losses due to employee distraction.
Positively Engage Employees in Your Business’ Finances
In the Journal of Accountancy, CPA Brandy Amidon explained how she engaged employees at a small marketing and creative agency in the company’s finances.
Amidon taught employees how to read financial statements and understand the organization’s overall profitability. The approach gave employees shared responsibility in the company’s finances.
The first year Amidon did this — 2016 — her company had its most profitable year ever. Employees were making better financial choices that were positively affecting the bottom line. She said that the biggest challenge for her and management was delegating financial authority to employees, but saw value in sharing the burden of success or failure in the business.
Regardless of your approach to teaching employees, understand that helping teach them about personal finance need not be expensive. Use your own knowledge to create a series of lunch and learns for your staff. Find meaningful articles on the internet about personal finance and share them with your employees.