Canadians aren’t practicing financial fitness. It’s not their fault – transportation, mortgages and food costs have fallen victim to inflation at a year-over-year increase of 6.3 per cent in December 2022. And 47 per cent of Canadians said they have found themselves purchasing cheaper alternatives, brands or items. Meanwhile, over the last six months, more than one-quarter of Canadians reported borrowing money from friends or relatives, taking on additional debt or using credit to meet day-to-day expenses.
The rising cost of living is not the only thing on the minds of Canadian workers. One key stress-indicator is the debt many employees face. A quarterly poll by MNP Ltd found that a record-high 47 per cent of Canadian respondents were concerned about their debt. These unfortunate records are hurting the workforce; Canadians 18 to 34 spend an average of 2.4 hours a day worrying about their finances.
Employees’ financial stress negatively impacts work performance, productivity and overall job satisfaction. But what steps can you take as an employer to alleviate the stresses on your team?
We hear every tax season, “I wish they taught this stuff in high school.” And our clients are exactly right—finances are hard. Recently, the cost-of-living crisis has shifted the relationship between employers and employees, with leaders looking to innovate financial boundaries with their teams.
Offering opportunities for financial education can help employees better understand and manage their budgets. One underutilized option is the government of Canada’s yearly list of resources for employers and employees – find education programs, websites, quizzes and financial tools.
We’ve heard horror stories about employees not paying attention to their pay slips for months before realizing their payments are incorrect. In fact, more than half of Canadians pay more attention to their social media channels than their paycheque. This issue is rooted in financial literacy – why would an employee mull over a black-and-white slip that they don’t understand?
Providing the proper resources for your team to understand the nuances of payroll is valuable for everyone involved. Catching errors early while ensuring your team is comfortable with the details of their pay saves everyone time and money.
PayEvo comes with Paychequer – an employee-facing online pay slip system that illustrates a full pay history with deductions and vacation balances in one place. Paychequer acts as part of our efforts toward financial literacy in Canada. The analytics behind Paychequer is one of our favourites to monitor – as we continue to push for a better financial climate across Canada, we see tens of thousands of employees reviewing their paycheques every payday.
Fostering financial fitness in the workplace: techniques and proven approaches
We’ve dove into some ideas on how to create a financially fit team – take this cheat sheet with you to start implementing a change:
Providing financial literacy and support:
Equip your employees with financial literacy and support by offering financial planning sessions, digestible paycheques, budgeting tools and access to financial counselling services. These resources can aid employees in enhancing their financial well-being.
Offering monetary rewards:
To motivate employees to plan and invest for their financial future, offer monetary incentives such as bonuses, benefits, matching contributions (like group RRSPs), and employee stock ownership programs.
Flexible work options and paid leave:
Flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and flexible schedules, combined with paid leave can assist employees in balancing their finances and reducing financial stress.
Advocating financial openness:
By promoting financial openness and transparency, employers can aid employees in understanding their compensation and benefits plans by sharing relevant financial information with them.
Take it to the bank
Financial well-being is a critical aspect of overall workplace health and happiness. It is increasingly recognized as a key factor in promoting employee productivity, job satisfaction and retention. By partnering with employees to promote financial well-being, you can create a more positive work environment, reduce turnover and improve the bottom line. By offering financial education and resources, implementing financial incentives, providing flexible benefits and encouraging financial transparency, you can make employees more comfortable with their financial situations.
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