Down to the penny: managing personal stress and financial wellness

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What would you think if I were to tell you that your average staff person, who earns under $15 an hour, will spend 153 hours of work time per year stressing about their finances?  Nearly a full month of the year!

Recently, HoneyBee, a new startup in California, shared that statistic with me. They also reported that over 60% off those earning less than $15 an hour were “underbanked,” meaning they had a checking account but did not write checks and had no savings. They had to pay to have a check written and often relied on payday lenders.  The situation plays out in real time as people struggle to pay their bills. A 2017 survey by Bankrate documented that over 57% of Americans will be thrown into a financial crisis by an unexpected $500 bill!

This financial stress manifests in other ways, including physical illness: a report from the American Psychological Association found that 77% of Americans regularly reported a physical or psychological impact of stress and 33% reported they experience extreme stress. This stress is often compounded during this time of the year, where heating bills and holiday expenses stretch budgets even further.

What does that mean in our field? How many of our staff are food or housing insecure?  How many are stretched in their role caring for adult children or aging parents? How many have had to rely on payday lenders for help?  What do we, as leaders, do for our staff? We wanted to know and started out by talking with innovative leaders from across the country. Let’s learn from one another.

Quillo has compiled some interesting, innovative, and simple ways that organizations across the country are supporting staff when finances are causing them stress. Suggestions include opportunities to access emergency cash to help with housing, car repairs, transportation and much more. Check out another example below:

The Emergency Fund Operated by the Organization

An organization with over 1,200 employees has introduced an emergency financial support fund, which gives each employee up to $300 per year of support.  Trusting that staff are making requests when there is true need, there is no requirement for the staff member to explain its purpose or provide receipts.  If the request for funds is submitted by 10AM, the staff member will receive the amount requested in cash by 3PM that day. The funds are treated as income and will be reported on their W2. The immediacy of the response is designed to impact the need of the individual as they work through their financial crisis.

If you’d like more on this idea along with 10 others, fill out the contact form below or email [email protected] and we’ll send you a copy of “Down to the Penny: Supporting the Financial Wellness of Your Staff,” the latest in Quillo’s Premium Content.

Do you have more to add to the list of suggestions? We would love to hear your ideas, too. Here are a few ways to engage:

  1. If you have other ways you are helping your staff and their financial well-being, please share them with us and will add it to this document. We would love to hear from you!
  2. Secondly we are working on a series of financial well-being videos and supporting information for organizations.  If you would like to be part of the development of those efforts, send me an email at [email protected].
  3. Lastly, if you’re on the Quillo app, check out the Take a Moment section of Quillo or search “stress” in the search bar. Short, 60-second video messages share ideas to cope and support your personal health and well-being. It may be just the thing you, one of your staff, or someone else needs. Stress is something we may not be able to prevent, but perhaps we can alleviate it by reaching out to our own staff to help them in ways that may not be readily apparent.

If you are not on the app, drop us an email at [email protected] or call (317) 626-4387 to get set up with a free trial. Thanks for what you do every day!

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