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Survey: Amid inflation and recession fears, this is what employees really want

Reality check: Financial wellness support is more important to workers than many so-called 'perks'

With inflation growing faster than wages, the steady stream of news about high-profile companies laying off workers by the thousands, and the ever-present threat of an economic recession, workers of all ages are feeling the pressure. Financial insecurity is taking a massive toll on Americans. And while employers are in an ideal position to ease these worries, according to a recent survey from TalentLMS, Enrich, and Tapcheck, they’re doing very little to actually help their employees. Read to learn about the financial concerns of today’s workforce and how financial wellness support in the workplace can help.

stressed out man looking at laptop while at work
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Financial worries take a toll on workers

This new joint research project takes a closer look at financial wellness programs offered by employers and how well they meet the needs of their workers. Researchers surveyed 1,000 employees from a variety of industries, generations, and locations around the US. They found that the majority of workers are feeling financial pressure.

Around 70% of survey respondents said that they were growing more worried about their financial well-being due to the threat of recession. Additionally, less than half of workers said they felt financially stable.

And these stressors are causing mental and physical health problems, too. Almost half of the employees have experienced mental health issues and 45% have had physical health problems due to money-related stress. It’s clear that workplaces simply aren’t doing enough to ensure their staff’s mental, physical, and financial wellness.

group of workers shaking hands and supporting each other
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Workers want more support

Because of US inflation and other economic insecurity, 78% of survey respondents said they felt it was important to receive support from their companies on financial matters. And yet, employers don’t appear to be listening. The data found that only 45% of workers thought their companies were doing enough to boost their financial wellness.

Providing more support not only helps workers, but it can benefit businesses too. Workers are less likely to quit their jobs in search of higher-paying ones when their employers offered more support. In fact, 68% of workers were more likely to stay at their job longer if their employer offered financial wellness benefits.

So how can employers provide better financial support to their workers? Here’s what respondents from different generations had to say about the types of benefits they’d like to receive.

  • Across the board, retirement planning was the most desired benefit.
  • Younger generations also wanted emergency savings assistance.
  • Baby boomers were the only generational group to prioritize medical care cost planning.
  • Only millennials picked financial coaching and advising as one of the top three most important benefits, and only Gen Z chose meal allowance in their top three.
  • Receiving guidance on monthly spending from employers was only appealing to younger workers (62% of Gen Z vs. 37% of boomers).

Most people depend on their employers for their financial security. They chose to spend so much of their time and energy working for this very reason. And yet, the data shows that companies are continually letting down their workers in this regard—and it takes more than a financial toll. Workers’ mental and physical health is suffering because of it. But by offering a bit of extra support and financial wellness benefits, employers can improve their workers’ overall well-being immeasurably.

Shannon Cooper
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Shannon Cooper has written about everything from pet care and travel to finance and plumbing in her seven years as a writer…
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