Sweep away money worries

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Worrying about money poses a particularly serious health risk in this economy. Even if your bank account is fine, consider your employees’ ?financial woes.

If they’re struggling under a mountain of debt or they fret about their dwindling portfolios and crumbling retirement plans, they are hardly equipped to give you 110 percent effort. Oh, and good luck trying to get them to concentrate on doing error-free work.

Worriers tend to dwell on forces beyond their control. They concoct scenarios in their mind and play them out: What if I lose my job? What if my health declines and I’m stuck with steep medical bills and no insurance? How will we afford private-school tuition for our kids?

To keep your employees’ blood pressure down, help them focus on what they can control. Suggest that they use online calculators such as choosetosave.org to review their retirement projections. They can adjust their computations based on changes to their monthly savings or the number of years they intend to remain in the workforce.

Conquer the 'psychological recession'

Money worries produce severe stress. If your staff members are preoccupied with their financial situation, they may fear job loss so much that they go out of their way to play it safe and avoid the kind of bold, innovative contributions you seek.

In her book One Foot Out the Door, Judith Bardwick refers to the “psychological recession” that employers confront with scared, anxious workers. You can help by showing sensitivity to their plight, supporting their success and applying clear metrics to assess performance.

If your employer participates in an employee assistance program, it may provide financial counseling and educa-tion. Getting advice from professionals may not make your staffers’ worries go away, but at least they can take steps to minimize worry and thus improve their mental health.

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