Helping your employees improve their financial well-being is a win-win!

Financial literacy month

November 12, 2019

By the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s Financial Literacy Month team

It’s Financial Literacy Month, and all Canadians are being encouraged to take charge of their finances!

Did you know that money worries are the biggest source of stress for Canadians? Financial concerns have surpassed health, work and family obligations as the number one preoccupation of Canadian adults.

Employers may not realize the impact financial stress has on their organization. According to a recent survey, almost half of working Canadians with financial stress say it affects their performance at work. Financial stress can also reduce an employees’ ability to focus at work, and their overall mental and physical well-being. This can lead to lower productivity, and negatively affect an organization’s bottom line.

The good news is that employers are in a unique position to offset the impact of financial stress among employees. Workplace financial wellness programs are an effective way to reach working Canadians.  And Canadian research shows workers are looking to their employers for support:

  • 70% of employees feel their employer should support employee financial well-beingFootnote 1 
  • 78% of employees would be interested in financial education programs in the workplaceFootnote 2

What’s more, it turns out that financial behaviours have a bigger impact than income alone on personal financial well-being. This was one of the key findings of a recent survey of financial well-being in Canada.Footnote 3  For example, Canadians who actively save and avoid borrowing to meet daily expenses have higher levels of financial well-being than those who borrow regularly, regardless of income. While this may seem obvious to some, for the large number of Canadians who experience financial stress, identifying these simple, constructive financial behaviours can be hugely beneficial.

Taken together, these factors make a strong case for establishing a financial wellness program in the workplace. Many employers already recognize the advantages of providing pension and retirement savings plans, wellness programs and other benefits to their employees. A financial wellness program is a natural extension of these existing benefits and complements other employee programs. Helping employees change their behaviours and set financial goals, like having a savings or debt reduction plan, can be an important way for employers to encourage greater financial well-being.

And there’s more good news: no employer needs to start from scratch.  Financial wellness in the workplace is a comprehensive, free, unbiased web resource specifically for employers. It offers detailed information on how to build your own financial wellness program -- one that’s tailored to the specific needs of your employees and the nature of your organization or business. You will find information and strategies to help you plan, build, communicate, deliver and evaluate your program. There are also engaging materials that you can use, such as workshops, an employee needs survey template, videos, interactive quizzes, tools and calculators.

Connecting employees to financial wellness programs in the workplace and helping them improve their financial well-being is a win-win: it will reduce the negative impact of financial stress, and make an organization healthier and more productive.

Visit our Financial Literacy Month website and follow us on social media to learn more.

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