Feeling Stressed, Employees Seek Pay Advances

By SHRM Online staff Jun 25, 2014

Thirty-seven percent of HR professionals say employees at their organization have missed work because of a financial emergency in the last 12 months. However, only a quarter of organizations offer their employees financial literacy training for basic budgeting, according to the results of a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management that was conducted in collaboration with and commissioned by Elevate, a financial services firm.

Half of all HR professionals rated the overall financial health of employees at their organization as just “fair” in the SHRM/Elevate Employee Financial Stress Survey, which polled a randomly selected sample of SHRM’s membership in May and June 2014.

Fifty percent of the HR professionals also said Millennials (those ages 25 to 34) were the most financially stressed, while 29 percent believe workers in the 35 to 44 age group experienced the most stress related to money.

The results "signal that financial issues could be a growing challenge for employees in many workplaces," according to the report. "Anxiety related to finances could be a growing source of employee stress that has a direct impact on health care costs, absence and productivity. Thus money management strategies, including budgeting and investing, may increasingly be considered as a part of workplace stress management and wellness initiatives."

Offering Help

The most common financial services that organizations offer employees are:

Retirement planning and consultation (offered by 81 percent of respondents).

Financial literacy training for investing (42 percent).

Less prevalent were:

Financial services include financial literacy training for basic budgeting (25 percent).

Credit score monitoring (8 percent).

Asking for Pay Advances

Nearly three-quarters of HR professionals indicated that offering third-party provider loan products has a positive impact on employees’ overall ability to manage their financial difficulties, and slightly over half reported pay advances having a positive impact.

A majority of HR professionals (53 percent) report that their employees have asked for a pay advance in the last year, while 47 percent say workers have approached a manager or supervisor for personal financial advice in the last 12 months.

However, just 18 percent of respondents provide pay advances, while 19 percent make available access to loan products from a third-party provider through the workplace.

A majority (55 percent) of those that offer pay advances feel that doing so has a positive impact on employees’ ability to manage their financial difficulties. 

Also see:

SHRM Study Highlights Employees’ Financial Challenges, SHRM Online Benefits, May 2014


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