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Blue @ Work

The costly impact of financial stress

A problem that spans generations and income levels.

Despite being gainfully employed, your employees are stressed — financially stressed — and that is taking a toll on their physical health. The number one cause of stress External Site in America is money. Everyone in your workforce — from millennials to boomers — is losing sleep over saving for retirement Opens in a new window, paying the bills Opens in a new window or putting food on the table. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter whether the employee is sitting in a corner office, working in a cubicle or on the production line, financial stress doesn’t discriminate.

Experts have found that financial stress can cause acute-phase inflammation External Site across all socioeconomic strata. The study, published by the National Institute of Health, found that there are significant correlations between financial stress, interpersonal stress, and psychological distress and well-being. All of which make their way into the work environment and impact the organization.

Poor financial health = poor health

Financial stress manifests itself in numerous physical conditions. In addition to mood disorders, financial stress External Site contributes to migraine, cardiovascular disease, absences from work, insomnia, and more. If your employees are like the majority of the population, it’s likely that in addition to financial stressors, they are also experiencing everyday pressures and worry. This combination, while not uncommon, is a huge health concern. We know that some stress is good External Site; it can be motivating and invigorating. But, being in a perpetual state of unease and anxiety — like when a person is living paycheck to paycheck — increases the body’s cortisol levels External Site and puts an individual at risk for:

You know the important role employee well-being plays in a productive business. Happy and healthy employees are more likely to be engaged and perform better than those who are dealing with personal issues while at work.

"While financial stress takes many forms, there is a clear correlation between financial stress and underlying physiological and emotional changes which do impact both our work and personal lives," said Jason Bobst, Director of Employer Consulting at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "Providing employees with a clear plan of action to improve financial well-being can have a positive ripple effect on other domains of well-being including emotional and physical."

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is committed to supporting our groups and members and assisting you to create work environment that promotes healthy behaviors. Through our employer consulting and well-being services, we look beyond your employees’ claims and provide a variety of evidence-based programs that address the six elements of well-being: financial, social, career, emotional, physical and community.

Unlock financial well-being tips for your workplace

Unlock five free tips External Site to improve financial well-being in your workplace today. All you have to do is check out the "Rethinking financial well-being in the workplace" webinar — completely free to you. With this webinar you'll unlock:

  • The difference between what employers and employees want out of financial well-being programs.
  • How finances impact your employees' health and productivity.
  • Solutions you can incorporate into your workplace.
  • Five free tips to improve financial well-being in your workplace.

Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark account representative, or email us at blueatwork@wellmark.com Send Email.