According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the number one cause of stress is money. When employees find themselves in financial stress, it puts their health, job performance, morale, and even their ethics and integrity at risk – which can put downward pressure on an employer’s bottom line.

American Adult Financial Behavior by the Numbers

  • 77% live paycheck to paycheck
  • 56% don’t have a budget
  • 50% do not participate in employer-led 401(k) programs
  • 41% grade themselves a C, D, or F in personal finance
  • 40% carry credit card debt month to month
  • 32% have zero non-retirement savings
  • 29% can only handle emergencies by using a credit card
  • 28% do not pay their bills on time
  • 22% don’t know how much they spend on food, housing, and entertainment
  • 21% believe that winning the lottery is the most viable way to fund retirement

The Real Cost of Stress in the Workplace

Employees Affected by Financial Stress: 80% or more

  • Overall Cost of Stress to American Businesses

$300 billion/year

  • Unscheduled Absenteeism


  • Reduced Employee Productivity


  • Increased Workplace Accidents

$29,000/workplace accident

  • Higher Employee Turnover

$8,000/employee replacement

  • HR Department Distractions

10% of HR department payroll

According to Human Resources Magazine, more than 53% of financially stressed employees spend time dealing with their financial issues while on the clock.

The ROI of Increasing Employee Financial Literacy

In return for investing in employee financial education, employers can expect $450/employee in positive job outcomes and a return of $3 for every $1 spent in the form of:

  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Better overall financial behaviors
  • Higher participation in employer-provided benefits (401(k), FSA, HSA)
  • Better employee job performance
  • Higher employee engagement and commitment to the company
  • Better business stability during economic volatility
  • Reduced operating costs of $348/sick day on average
  • Fewer personal financial distractions, saving up to $5,000/employee/year

By improving your employees’ financial capability, you can lower the costly impact that financial stress can have on your business. Increase workforce participation in financial education programs by offering materials employees can access on their own time, at their own pace.