12 July 2017 07:00
Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier
In an era where 42% of the population says that money is the biggest stress factor, employees would like to get help from their employer.
This is 68 % of the respondents to the survey on the opinion of the generations, group benefits Sun Life Financial who believe that their employer has a role to play in their financial well-being. «As the employees have said that they want support for their physical and mental health on the part of their employer, they also want for their financial health,» says Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier, assistant vice president, occupational health management integrated health, among the insurer, at a conference on the occasion of the Gathering for the health and well-being at work.
Although several studies have revealed that the financial health is one of the most important stress factors for the last five years, a certain taboo around it still, like mental health before. «In the last few years, we talked about the stigma of mental health, which is improving more and more, but the stigma around the financial health remains. For at least the past five years, the data show that the thing that stresses him out the most people is the financial health, rather than the relationship or the job, » said Dr. Pelletier.
In addition, poor financial health has several impacts on the psychological health and even physical of a person. Dr. Pelletier noted that a study on young professionals has revealed that the financial stress has resulted in subjects such high blood pressure that it has become a factor in clinical predicator of heart disease. «The financial stress does not remain in its own silo. It has consequences on our physical and mental health. But if people were asked if the financial stress could have an impact on their physical health, many would not. «
Other studies have shown that people who go to counselling financial are 11 times more back pain than the general population. In the same vein, american scientists have noticed that when the price of houses dropped, the number of antidepressant prescriptions was rising.
«It is a question here of the correlations that are undeniable between physical health and financial health. And all of these problems are also found in our work environments «, hammered Dr. Pelletier.
Actually, these problems are costly to businesses. If poor physical health is 8 days of absence on average per employee, and that poor mental health spent $ 24 per $ 1,000 of gross salary, the financial stress can lead to a loss in productivity, while 13% of the workday is devoted to resolve a financial problem. The study of 2016 on the financial stress of Financial Finesse establishes that 11 days of work are lost due to the financial stress experienced by employees.
Three tracks of solution
In his study, Dr. Pelletier has identified three solutions which would enable employers to work together to improve the financial health of their employees. First, to grow the financial literacy of employees by organizing information sessions on digital tools to make a judicious use of the credit, to manage its day to day finances or set a budget.
«A good financial literacy has several advantages, including the adoption of healthy living habits, the creation of greater wealth, increasing savings, and improving the management of the budget and control of spending,» she advanced.
However, to the best knowledge of personal finance on the part of the employee does not imply that it will rise to the action. «A meta-analysis of 201 studies of financial literacy shows that only 0.1% of people had changed their habits. It is necessary to combine the information to something else, such as making follow-ups during and after the training, » said Dr. Pelletier.
Then, the establishment of a financial plan. This solution requires the help of a professional, such as a financial advisor. «Having more information in hand, it is this which allows the individual to create his or her own personalized plan according to its objectives. Of course, it gives good solutions for the present and the future from a purely financial point of view, but it also offers peace of mind, and confidence «, was illustrated by Dr. Pelletier.
The latter has also mentioned that 73 % of people who have a financial plan say they have greater peace of mind. In addition, 63 % say they have less anxiety and more confidence.
Finally, create incentives to have a savings account staff. As an employer, if the structures of savings are not put in place, Dr. Pelletier suggests strongly to create. And if they already exist, do more promotion among employees for a greater part of them adhere to it.
«It is necessary to rethink the membership structure of the savings plans. Employees must decline to participate in a savings plan. And not to encourage them to take action to accede to it. »