Helping Employees Who Are Struggling with Financial Difficulties
Q: I have a small business and employ 12 people full time. One of my long-time employees briefly mentioned that he’s facing some financial difficulties. Other employees have been commenting on how moody he has become. I’m concerned for him as well as worried about how he is interacting with our customers. I did some reading online and found out that personal financial problems can have a big effect on a person’s mental outlook as well as their job performance. Any ideas about how I can help him?
A: When we see a friend, employee, co-worker or family member struggling to cope with everyday life it’s hard not to become concerned. Thinking that there might be more involved than we know about, makes it that much more disconcerting.
Without pushing your employee to share more than he’s comfortable sharing, here are some things you can do to help address two, possibly related, aspects of what he may be facing; the financial difficulties and emotional or psychological concerns.
Provide Employee Assistance Counselling
Many small companies don’t provide an employee assistance program. If this is due to cost, I would encourage you to either look for alternative insurance providers who have more flexibility with their pricing, or reimburse employees for certain services by having them submit receipts. Submitting receipts is not ideal for an employee who wants to keep their affairs private, so try to find a happy medium as you look for other insurance providers.
Educate Yourself About How You Can Help
You may know a lot about running your business, but the people aspect is complex and ever changing. Sign up for a course, read relevant materials or consult with experts who can help you understand how best to help employees when they are experiencing difficulties.
Don’t Underestimate the Significance of Financial Difficulties
There’s a lot in it for you as well as for your employee if his personal finances are in order. Unfortunately, many people wait much too long before seeking help and a vicious cycle develops: they are worried about money, which leads to making poor choices, and the result of the poor choices leads to more stress about money. The sooner someone gets help with their finances, the more options they will have available to them.
One way to help all of your employees is to provide fun, friendly employee lunch and learn workshops on various financial fitness topics.
How to Get Help to Deal with Debt
Encourage your employee to contact a reputable, non-profit organization like ours that helps people find workable solutions for their financial problems and learn to manage their money and debt better.
Employees who feel well financially, emotionally and physically are much more satisfied and a lot more productive all around. It’s a win-win for your bottom line as well as theirs.