Financial Stress is a Top Issue for Employee Assistance Programs


Financial stress is at the root of most issues that impact employee work performance. A strong employee assistance program (EAP) can recognize and address the problem. Employers are in a unique position to strengthen employee engagement and prevent a drop in productivity when they can help employees achieve financial well-being.

Employee assistance programs typically cover topics such as:

  •      Substance abuse
  •      Occupational stress
  •      Emotional distress
  •      Major life events
  •      Health care concerns
  •      Financial or non-work-related legal concerns
  •      Family/personal relationship issues
  •      Work relationship issues
  •      Concerns about aging parents

Financial distress often underlies these common issues, so an employee assistance program offering continued financial education is vital. Waiting until an employee is in distress can lead to their detachment from work, affecting co-workers and customers.

Evidence there's a need for more EAP financial education programs comes from a recent report released by the Society for Human Resource Management. In its 2014 Financial Wellness in the Workplace study, sponsored by McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, the group found that: 

  •      Seven out of 10 human resource professionals said that personal financial challenges have an impact on employee performance.
  •      Over 40% said employees' difficulty covering personal expenses has a workplace impact.
  •      Close to 40% of employees are facing greater personal financial challenges now compared with the onset of the recession in 2007.
  •      Almost 25% of human resources professionals said employees experience more personal financial challenges now compared with 12 months ago.
  •      Employees were 60% more likely to tap their retirement account for a loan than in previous years. They were also 44% more likely to ask for a hardship withdrawal from retirement savings. 

When the financial well-being of employees is part of your EAP, you're taking proactive steps to create a culture of engaged employees. 

Hanscom Federal Credit Union offers free financial education services designed to work with your EAP. Click here to learn more.

 Financial Education Services

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About Author

Maria Porto
Maria Porto

Maria Porto is Hanscom FCU's assistant vice president of partner relations. She may be reached at mporto@hfcu.org.

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