American employees are worried about their financial well-being. This stress has widespread effects in all areas of an individual’s well-being, adversely affecting their relationships, work performance and overall health. This lowers productivity and profitability for employers.
An increasing number of employees are looking to their employers for support in becoming more financially secure, and are finding that help through Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). Since Health Advocate’s EAP+Work/Life Program began offering resources including consultations with financial specialists, calls for financial help steadily increased in just three years, reaching nearly 2,000 calls a year.
At a large Florida school district with 19,000 members, five percent of calls to the EAP were for financial help during a 6-month period. Here is an example of how we helped one employee resolve financial matters that were affecting his personal and work lives.
A 45-year-old manager contacted the Health Advocate EAP about stress, associated with marital discord and missing work. Through in-person counseling and coaching sessions, the EAP counselor determined the cause of the marital disagreements to be related to arguments about money and a growing debt from borrowing money, stemming from the husband’s gambling problem.
Using a holistic approach, the EAP counselor:
- Recommended treatment for a possible gambling addiction
- Located a gambling addiction support group
- Connected the couple to a Financial Wellness specialist for help with a loan repayment plan, establishing a budget, and ways to repair their financial debt
- Referred the employee to Health Advocate’s online financial resources that included free tutorials to support the Financial Wellness specialist’s suggestions
After three months, the employee reported the following:
- Improved attendance and productivity
- Abstinence from gambling and adherence to his recovery plan, including continued attendance at the support group for ongoing motivation
- Working more successfully as a couple to get on track with their financial goals