60┃ Colorado Public Works Journal Building a Better Tomorrow: Financial Wellness in the Construction Industry by: Robert Khachatryan CEO/Founder As demands for our projects increase, and more roads, buildings, and infrastructure are needed, it’s crucial to focus on the persons making these visions come to life: our employees. Our primary focus often leans towards the physical safety of our workforce - hard hats, safety boots, and high visibility clothing - but one aspect of safety becoming more clear is how mental safety creates and reinforces better physical safety. By understanding the importance of mental well-being and taking proactive steps, company leaders can substantially enhance the overall well-being among your workforce. Financial well-being is tightly connected to our mental well-being. Worrying about paying bills or making ends meet causes stress and can lead to anxiety or depression. Managing our money wisely isn’t just good for our wallets, it’s good for our mental health too. When we’re less stressed about money, we can focus more on our work, our families, and ourselves. What Does Financial Wellness Mean? “Financial Wellness” is not just about making enough money, but also understanding how to manage money effectively, planning for a financially stable future, and being able to meet your personal financial goals while minimizing stress. Financial wellness is a critical aspect of overall well-being and it contributes significantly to your happiness and life satisfaction. The State of Financial Wellness According to a 2023 Bankrate survey, more than a third of Americans carry credit card debt from month to month. At the same time, the average credit card interest rate sits at almost 20%, which makes paying off the credit card even more difficult. In addition, 36% have more credit card debt than emergency savings, the highest on record since 2011. Despite benefits from employers to help with retirement, like a 401(k), an employee is probably not thinking about saving for retirement when they cannot save past one paycheck. Here’s some statistics on financial wellness in the country: A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey found that when people are financially stressed, their employers also take a hit.