ATLANTA, Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite recent improvements in the economy, employees continue to be burdened by day-to-day financial concerns. The distractions and resulting levels of stress seriously affect their health and productivity. Employers who take steps to improve workers' financial health will see an improved bottom line.
That's the finding of a new white paper released today by Purchasing Power. "Beyond the Paycheck: Getting Employees on the Right Financial Track – and Staying There" uses proprietary and industry research to explore the toll employees' financial stress takes on workers' health and welfare, as well as on the employers' bottom line. The paper examines programs and services employers can undertake to improve employees' financial health. It also discusses the pay-off for employers who help employees handle financial stress and get back on a firmer financial footing.
Statistics show that 40 percent of employees are living paycheck to paycheck. This is a decrease from 42 percent last year and 46 percent in 2008 when the recession first hit.[i] With financial stress high, it's no surprise that one-third of employees admit personal finance issues have been a distraction at work and 97 percent of those employees say they spend time at work either thinking about it or dealing with those issues.[ii]
"It's in an employer's best interest to provide programs and services to help employees get to and remain financially healthy," says Richard Carrano, President and CEO, Purchasing Power, the nation's premier employee purchase program. "And it means more than just providing a paycheck and core benefits. Offering benefits that provide employees the opportunity to improve their financial wellness, in addition to their physical health, is a win-win for everyone."
The white paper outlines tactics for employers to help employees deal with financial issues. Among them are introducing or increasing financial education benefits and offering non-traditional voluntary benefits, such as employee purchase programs, so that workers can acquire high-ticket products and services on a disciplined budgeting plan.
Through employee purchase programs, workers can enroll in online education courses and acquire a variety of household items including computers, appliances and furniture via payroll deduction. The best employee purchase programs are viable, cost-effective alternatives to other consumer purchase plans, such as employer discounts, layaway, rent-to-own and even credit cards, which often come with high interest rates or tight access to credit. With employee purchase programs, workers can buy products they need in a disciplined manner using a 12-month payment plan through automatic payroll deductions with no late fees or ballooning interest, making budgeting easy. Employee purchase programs give employees access to items they need when cash and credit aren't available, thus helping to reduce financial stress.
Companies who have instituted employee purchase programs are not only helping their workforce acquire needed items but are experiencing more productive employees. Workers cite the following as the top-three most important benefits they receive from their employee purchase programs:
- 57 percent can access products they otherwise could not afford;
- 51 percent can implement a more disciplined budget; and
- 46 percent can be more productive at work.[iii]
"Helping employees deal with their finances can help companies cut healthcare costs, boost productivity, reduce absenteeism and build employee engagement," Carrano concludes.
About Purchasing Power, LLC
Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Purchasing Power, LLC was founded in 2001 and offers employees an alternative way to purchase a variety of high-ticket products and pay for them over 12 months through payroll deduction. Purchasing Power differentiates itself from traditional e-commerce retailers through its unique payment plan value proposition, strategic benefit broker partnerships, internal marketing expertise and superior customer service. The company has serviced more than 800,000 orders for employees of leading U.S. companies and organizations, including Fortune 500 and government agencies. For more information, visit www.PurchasingPower.com
[i] Benefits Pro.com, "Fewer Employees Living Paycheck to Paycheck," Aug. 16, 2012.
[ii] PwC's 2012 Financial Wellness Survey.
[iii] Harris Interactive and Purchasing Power Survey, Jan. 30, 2012
SOURCE Purchasing Power, LLC