Hammer about to break a piggy bank.

Financial Issues Affect Employee Health & Productivity

What You As an Employer Can Do to Help

How does employee financial wellness affect the employer?

The relationship between health and productivity is an issue that most employers have to contend with.

As an employer, you’ve probably struggled with the effect of sickness in the workplace but have you also thought about employee financial wellness?

Does their financial health also affect their productivity and if so, what can you do about it?

recent study by Manulife Financial Corporation surveyed more than 200 employee assistance program counsellors. The study’s objective was to two-fold:

  1. To investigate how employees feel about their own financial struggles and how it affects their workplace productivity.
  2. And to find out what role employers can play in employee financial wellness.

Of the counselors surveyed, the results showed that:

  • 93% believe employee financial wellness affects work and productivity.
  • 99% think workplace pension and health plans play an important role in providing safety, security, and support to overall employee financial wellness.
  • 46% feel it is difficult for employees who suffer from financial health issues.
  • 74% feel personal finances have significant impact on the emotional and mental health of employees.

Only a third of the counsellors surveyed see people making this important connection between an employee’s personal finances and other problems.

As An Employer What Options Do You Have?

Are you aware of the employee financial wellness of your workforce? Are you wondering about strategies and how you can implement them to help improve productivity and the overall wellbeing of your employees?

Here are some suggestions that you might want to consider.

  1. Recognizethat the costs of an employee’s financial health are connected and similar to the costs of their physical and mental health.
  2. Help employees recognize how their financial health (along with physical and mental health) can affect their performance in the workplace.
  3. Provide resources such as employee financial wellness assessments that can help pinpoint potential causes of financial stress. (For example, your employees could be struggling with budgeting or debt, which can be huge stressors for an individual or household.)
  4. Incorporate employee benefits plans that could help alleviate financial stress such as health spending accounts that can take away the strain of a dental bill. You can also implement employee benefit plans that help employees start investing and saving for retirement.
  5. Break the stigma of financial health in the workplace. Over the last several years the movement to talk about mental health in the workplace has started to breakdown that stigma but it is equally as important to create a safe space for employees to talk about their finances, to ask questions and to get help finding the answers.

About Benefit Strategies Inc.

Benefit Strategies is based in Edmonton, Alberta and services business and corporate customers throughout Canada’s Western Provinces and the Northwest Territories. Let our experienced employee benefits brokers help you discover creative ways to reward your employees that will contribute to their financial wellbeing such as Group RRSPs and Pension Plans or Health Care Spending Accounts.

You can call Benefit Strategies Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta at 1-780-437-5070 or send us an email.

You might also be interested in these related blog articles:

Stethoscope resting on top medicine pills.

Comprehensive Managed Benefits Plans Help Control Costs

In a recent article titled, Businesses Need To Preserve Benefits Through Well-Managed Plans, SmallBizAdvisor urges private sector employers to ensure that their managed benefits plans are helping to preserve employee benefits.

The warning to private sector employers comes as a result of private plan spending increasing again in 2016. This is primarily due to rising drug costs as well as high-cost drugs and high-cost patients, as shown through a recent Express Scripts Canada Drug Trend Report:

  • 14% of employee benefits plan members account for 72% of total plan spending.
  • High-cost drug spend has increased from 13% of total drug spend in 2007 to 30% of total drug spend in 2016.
  • $1 out of every $5 spent on prescription drugs in 2016 went towards diabetes or inflammatory condition medications.

Furthermore, the study shows that cancer treatment drugs are very popular in the drug development pipeline.

In coming years, it is expected that many cancer treatments will move from hospital-administered treatments (covered by public health plans) to self-administered treatments (covered by private-sector claims). This is likely to keep the drug portion of employee managed benefits plans on the rise for many years to come.

Comprehensive Managed Prescription Drug Plans

Rather than abandoning employee managed benefits plans completely or eliminating the drug treatment portion of your plan, there are other ways to manage and curb rising costs.

Smart employers are seeking the help of creative insurance brokers like Benefit Strategies Inc. and starting to implement Comprehensive Managed Prescription Drug Plans. This concept comes out of the fact that only a small portion of plan members use a large majority of the total spending plan of a company. Often, these individuals with chronic or serious illnesses are on several different medications prescribed by different specialists.

As Michael Biskey, President of Express Scripts Canada says, “Most Canadians simply do not have the clinical knowledge they need to figure out which drug is the most cost-effective, clinically appropriate option for their treatment.”

Comprehensive Managed Benefits Plans work by focusing plan management efforts and educating members to make the most effective, informed health decisions while helping reduce out-of-pocket expenses and minimizing plan spending.

In turn, the employer achieves a better drug benefit ROI while still being able to offer employees and their dependents the life-saving treatments they need.

About Benefit Strategies Inc.

Edmonton’s Benefit Strategies Inc. has been serving small to medium sized businesses as well as corporate clients throughout Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and the Western Provinces of Canada for more than three decades.

Let us show you how Comprehensive Managed Benefits Plans can control costs and still help you reward your employees. You can call Benefit Strategies Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta at 1-780-437-5070 or send us an email.

Be sure to read our article How To Prepare for Benefits Cost Increases.