Can Personal Finance Problems Impact Your Career?
By Heather Huhman
The short answer: Yes.
The long answer: Personal finance problems can affect all aspects of your life, from your relationships to your hobbies and, yes, even your career. Just like financial problems can distract you from other things in your life, they can distract you from work -- not a good employee quality.
A recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management found that the vast majority of human resources managers noticed an employee's financial troubles impacting their work quality, but that fewer organizations are providing financial education to their employees than in 2009.
A whopping 83 percent of HR managers said personal financial problems had a large impact or some impact on employee performance. Ability to focus on work and overall employee stress were performance factors that were most noticeably affected by financial problems. Other factors affected were productivity; absenteeism and tardiness; employee morale; overall health; and relationships with other employees.
The top five personal financial challenges that have most affected employees are:
- Overall lack of money to cover personal expenses (49 percent)
- Medical expenses (35 percent)
- Saving for retirement (26 percent)
- Credit card debt (22 percent)
- Home mortgage payments (22 percent)
Plus, 80 percent of human resources professionals say that employees at their organization are currently faced with more financial challenges than they were five years go.
Even though most human resources professionals are noticing that financial problems are affecting employee performance and that employees are facing more financial challenges now than ever, only 52 percent of organizations are providing financial education to their employees; this is down from 64 percent in 2009. However, larger organizations are more likely to offer this financial education than smaller organizations.
The point is: Financial problems can cause distractions and stress and send your career into a nosedive. This becomes an ongoing cycle where poor performance at work can lead to being fired, which in turn leads to more financial problems.
Here's the solution: Break out of the cycle!
1. Keep yourself focused on your work.
Do your best to keep your mind on producing the best work you can for your organization. Remember that if your work suffers, you'll more than likely find yourself in a whole slew of other problems and may even find yourself jobless.
2. Take advantage of your resources.
If your company is one of the 52 percent that's offering financial education to its employees, jump on it! Some organizations offer an Employee Assistance Program, which includes financial help and education. Call your company HR representative and talk to them about what resources may be available.
3. Confront the problem.
If your work is suffering, talk to your manager about the problem and how you're going to fix it. If you're dipping into your retirement funds (72 percent of human resource workers say they agree that their employees are more likely to do this in the last year compared to years prior), come up with a plan to restock your savings as soon as possible.
Do you think financial problems can affect your career? How can you fix this? Let us know below.
Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of "Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle" (2011), "#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle" (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.
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