Colorado Public Works Journal, Summer 2023

SUMMER 2023┃61 The Impacts of Financial Stress. A survey by Self Inc[5] found that 22.9% of US adults lose sleep multiple times each month due to worries about their personal finances. That lost sleep affects things like our immune system, memory, and concentration[6], where overly sleepy employees are 70%[7] more likely to be involved in workplace accidents than colleagues who are not sleep deprived. Note that, on average, employers spend over $120,000 on each workplace injury[8] and person’s financial stress can impact the bottom line. The Value of a Financially Well Workplace The need and want for financial wellness education is growing in the United States. The amount of resources to individuals and employers is constantly growing and there’s a good reason for it! Moses Alvarez, Director of Training from the Colorado Construction Association, has implemented financial literacy training and says that the apprentices “really appreciated learning how to take 9 months of their salary and making it last 12 months due to most paving operations slowing down in the winter months which typically leads to temporary layoffs and how they can still make that work in their personal budget for the entire year when it’s properly planned.” In the end, providing financial wellness not only adds to the value of the individual and the company but also can help the bottom line through productivity and retention. How to Make impactful change As with any program, communicating your wellness benefit can be more difficult than picking the right one for you. Jody Randall, Director of Business Strategy from Lawrence Construction Company, talks about how we need to “rethink the way we message these opportunities to help [employees] understand and apply it better in their lives.” It’s important to start by listening to your employees and providing them with resources that they need first, then evaluate, expand, or change the offerings as needed. There are a number of strategies an employer can use. 1. Online Financial Tools a. Promoting online resources like budgeting tools, strategies, and retirement planning can empower employees to take control of their financial future. 2. Use an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) a. Many EAPs also offer financial support as a part of their offerings 3. Financial Workshops a. Contact your local financial institution or hire a professional organization to tailor classes and programs to help grow your team’s financial knowledge 4. Just-In-Time Learning a. Provide long-form programs based on the current needs of your employees 5. Partner with Financial Experts a. Collaborate with financial coaches and planners to offer one-on-one consultations for employees. When the budget for a financial wellness program isn’t available, there are a number of free resources individuals can use to help build their financial future. If you would like more information please contact the author Robert Khachatryan at 949 554 4664 or email Focusing on employee financial wellness is not just a compassionate approach to leadership, but also has a direct impact on the overall productivity and success of the industry. The statistics undeniably point to the benefits of investing in employee financial wellness, from improved productivity and mental health, to reduced safety incidents and better employee retention. Introducing financial literacy programs, resources, and supportive policies, while fostering an environment that encourages open dialogue around financial issues, can make a considerable difference in an employee’s experience and life. Let’s not just build magnificent structures, but also build our workforce.