Low levels of financial wellness have harmful impacts on employees. American employees are experiencing increasing amounts of stress associated with financial well-being. An annual online survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA, 2006) found that the two greatest concerns reported by respondents were money (59%) and work (59%). However, in 2008, stress associated with money rose to 81% and work to 67% (APA, 2008). Worse yet, in order to cope with the stress, many survey respondents reported engaging in behaviors that will make matters worse, including:
According to an April 2008 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost two-thirds (61%) of Americans report having “serious financial problems.” These problems included:
A December 2008 survey of employee assistance providers (EAPs) conducted by the Employee Assistance Society of North America found a dramatic increase in requests for financial services from employees (up 88% since 2007) and for help with laid-off employees and downsizing (up 60%).
A majority of employees feel unprepared financially for economic strain, with less than a third of employees (29%) saying they had enough savings to cover more than six months of expenses, according to a 2008 survey by the Principal Financial Group of workers at companies with 10-10,000 employees.