Five Ways for Employers To Alleviate Employee Financial Stress


Money worries are one of the leading sources of stress for many Indonesian workers. Along with the economic uncertainty, the rising prices for daily necessities are taking a toll on people's financial stress with a grave impact on their mental health. In fact, over a third (37%) of Indonesian employees are experiencing everyday stress, and one in three say they are financially worse off than before, according to the Mercer Marsh Benefits’ report of 2021. 

Employees are dealing with financial stress more than ever, and they are seeking support from their employers to address it. Our Financial Health Survey shows that 33% of employees report never worrying about their financial situation after using our platform, while 39% are experiencing a lot less financial worries than before. Given the connection between money worries and mental health, employers play a key role in supporting the financial wellness of their workforces.


- Tobias Fischer, CEO of wagely.

Not only do money problems affect an employee’s personal life and mental health, but it also directly affects the employer. A study by PwC has shown that financial stress is closely related to employee turnover, productivity losses, increased absences, and low engagement. Simply put, employees focused on personal financial problems aren’t focused on their work. So, how can employers help alleviate employee financial stress? This World Mental Health Day, let’s deep dive into five ways employers can help.

  1. Identify your employees’ financial pain points
    There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to helping employees reduce financial stress, as different people have different financial needs. Surveys can help employers identify what stresses their employees and provide insights on which employee benefits are needed most. Start with a survey, and you will know the best approach to support your employees.

  2. Include financial coaching in your mental health resource
    Not all employees will feel comfortable telling their employer they are dealing with financial hardship. Since finances are often seen as a private matter, that same study from PwC suggests that one-on-one financial coaching via phone or video chat would be helpful for employees because of its intimate and confidential nature. That said, employers can consider offering financial coaching alongside their mental health resources.

  1. Encourage employees to embrace sustainable financial wellness
    Predatory lenders typically target vulnerable populations, including those living paycheck-to-paycheck and those who need emergency cash for unexpected expenses, trapping them in a vicious cycle of debt. Although debt or poor finances do not directly lead to mental health, constantly worrying about how they will escape debt can tremendously affect it. Thus, employers can step up to empower their workforces with a more responsible and sustainable financial wellness program.

    Many leading employers are including earned wage access as part of their employee benefits. With an earned wage access provider, employees can access their salary before payday. Whether it’s time to pay the rent or unexpected living expenses, employees who are short on cash no longer need to turn to predatory lenders. Instead, they can use applications like wagely to transfer their earned salary instantly into their bank account. A Financial Health Survey conducted by wagely with more than 3,500 participants shows that 40% of employees stopped applying for kasbon/loan after using the service, while 25% said they apply for it a lot less now.   

  1. Improve your employees’ financial literacy
    Achieving financial goals starts with financial literacy. Whether it’s classes, coaching, or workshop, they all go a long way to help employees feel less anxious and stressed about money. As your employees face life’s biggest decisions, such as buying a home and paying for children’s education, they need to understand the importance of budgeting, taxation, interest rates, debt cycle, etc. After all, workplace financial literacy can increase the level of financial knowledge, and increased financial knowledge helps improve financial wellness.

  1. Raise awareness about mental health issues in the workplace
    We're all familiar with the symptoms and treatments for common illnesses like the flu, diarrhea, and, most recently, COVID-19, but are we sure our employees know enough about how to look after their mental health? Misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health issues often cause people to suffer in silence and not seek treatment. That’s why raising mental health awareness in the workplace is an important initiative to improve understanding of mental illness and increase access to those who need support.

Those are some ways you can use to help reduce employee financial stress. The time has come to give them the financial support that will make a huge difference not only to your employees’ mental health and wellbeing but also to your business productivity and ability to attract and retain the best talent. We wish you a very happy World Mental Health Day!

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