Think employers have no business worrying about what employees do with their paychecks? While you certainly can’t dictate your small business team’s personal spending, it does make sense to know how your workers fare. Recent CareerBuilder research found that 37 percent of employees at small businesses feel they usually or always live paycheck to paycheck, and 67 percent are in debt. And because financial worries can take a toll on employee morale and one’s ability to focus in the workplace, their problems can become yours, too.
Small business employers may not have the luxury of offering higher salaries or robust retirement packages to help ease the situation; however, you can take steps to aid employees with money management and ease some of their worries. Consider the following.
Treat financial health as part of overall well-being.
Why should “knowing your numbers” be limited to getting blood pressure checked or cholesterol levels tested? Encourage employees to learn about budgeting techniques and debt-reduction measures as part of an overall health initiative to lower stress and improve wellness. Measures might include:
- Dedicating some staff meetings to viewing webinars on topics such as cash flow management and retirement planning.
- Recruiting local financial experts for monthly lunchtime talks on insurance, investing, and the like.
- Setting up an incentive program where people can earn small prizes or extra time off for completing activities like budgeting classes or online financial assessments.
Note that financial wellness programs are just starting to become trendy as a recruitment tool. Adding one to your arsenal may provide your small business with an interesting edge when candidates compare benefits among companies.
Look for money-saving opportunities.
Small businesses already tend to operate on a “make every penny count” mentality, so why not extend this frame of mind to personal finances? Brainstorm with your staff on what measures might be taken to put a little extra cash in everyone’s wallet. Here are a few starter ideas:
- Relaxing the dress code to save on clothing and dry cleaning expenses.
- Examining the possibility of carpools.
- Offering some work-from-home opportunities to cut back on transportation costs.
- Setting up a box for coupon swapping (put in ones you won’t use and take those you like).
- Maintaining an in-office beverage station to reduce the number of costly coffee runs.
- Discussing ways to celebrate birthdays, holidays and other celebratory occasions at the office in a fun but economical manner.
Honor your role.
Money undoubtedly is a precious commodity at any small business. But your efforts to grow the company should not be at the expense of your employees. Paychecks must be on time every time. Reimburse expenses as quickly as possible so workers don’t incur credit card interest charges. While you may not be able to solve all of your employees’ financial woes, the last thing you should do is contribute to them.
Want more advice and resources for building your small business? Learn about the essential elements of a standout recruitment strategy.