In an effort to better understand how financial stress affects the U.S. workplace, PNC Bank conducted an inaugural study to gage financial wellness in the workplace. It involved in-depth interviews from a field of approximately 1,000 full-time workers from U.S. companies with more than 100 employees, and 500 employers from U.S. companies with at least $5 million in annual revenue.
“When we think about the current economic landscape, which includes inflation and a tight labor market, it’s understandable that financial stress would show up as a key concern for many employers as well as employees from different organizations across the United States. Our survey confirmed that sentiment,” says President of PNC Bank in Northern Indiana Corinna Ladd.
In fact, according to the Financial Wellness in the Workplace Report 2023: What U.S. Employees Want (and Need), 70% of U.S. employees experience stress related to their personal finances. The vast majority of employers – 75% – also shared that their workers’ financial stress has an impact on their business.
“In addition to the daily stress of managing their budget and expenses, employees are saying, ‘I’m not feeling prepared for the future.’ These same employees also admit to having no plan to fix it. Further, only 22% of U.S. employees said that they have worked with a financial professional in the last three years,” says Ladd. “That’s a pretty low percentage of people who are actively having discussions about their future.”
From the employer point of view, Ladd says what stood out the most was that 96% of employers surveyed believe financial wellness benefits impact employee satisfaction and retention, and 80% of employees agree, saying they would stay longer with an employer that offered strong financial wellness benefits.
Further, while the PNC study showed that 94% of employers place some degree of responsibility on themselves to support their employees by offering financial wellness benefits, the challenge for many is that they don’t know what benefits will have meaningful impact, since finances are personal and specific to individual situations.
“Employers might feel that they are not directly responsible for how employees manage their personal finances, but an employer can really stand out and show they care by offering expert resources to help employees with their financial wellness,” says Ladd.
Investing in employees’ financial wellness will pay off in the long run. “By removing barriers to employees’ personal financial planning with the right mix of benefits, employers can maximize the return on their talent investment,” she concludes.
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