Presenteeism might sound like a positive thing. Wouldn’t you want your employees to be present? In reality, presenteeism is a bad thing. Really bad.
Sometimes it makes more sense for your employees to take time off, like when they’re sick or stressed out or emotionally overwhelmed. When employees decide to show up at work rather than take the time off that they need, they are practicing presenteeism—and more than likely costing you money in the process.
According to a study of 20,000 employees from diverse fields conducted by the Health Enhancement and Research Organization (HERO), the costs associated with presenteeism due to poor employee health are estimated to be at least 2 to 3 times greater than direct health care expenses.
But what does presenteeism have to do with financial wellness? Everything.
When your employees are financially unwell, they’re more likely to be stressed-out, depressed and experiencing the health issues associated with both. In fact, depression is a greater factor in presenteeism than most purely physical pain by a wide margin: the HERO study found that rates of presenteeism increased by 131 percent among employees experiencing depression, versus a 79 percent increase among those who experience neck and back pain, or a 72 percent increase among those who suffer knee or leg pain.
When you provide the resources necessary for your employees to learn how to budget, start saving money, get out of debt and become financially well, you’re setting them—and your business—up for success.
It’s in your best interest to keep your employees happy, healthy and as free from financial stress as possible. When your employees are budgeting their money and are financially well, they’re less stressed, less likely to become depressed and more likely to be productive when they’re at work. In other words, they’re more likely to be present in the best definition of the word.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.