Financial stress kills productivity

Financial stress kills productivity!



A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body. If not more so!

October has been declared national mental health awareness month in South Africa, and it is virtually impossible to talk about mental health without talking about money. There is often a very close link between financial stress and poor mental health. This can have dire consequences for you on both a personal and business level – financial stress can lead to a higher rate of absenteeism, a lower concentration span at work, and generally poor performance, all of which has a negative impact on your the line!

Some interesting facts and figures:

  • Seven out of ten middle class South Africans have financial stress (SANLAM Benchmark Survey 2017)
  • As many as three out of ten people in the workforce have symptoms of depression (SADAG). Amongst management it is one in three.
  • Stress is fuelled by rising living costs, debt in the form of car payments, credit cards and personal loans and an inability to save for the future or be financially prepared for an unexpected event.
  • Poor mental health impact negatively on your ability to manage your money, in turn causing more stress as your prospects for promotion and salary increases are negatively affected.
  • There is a significant spoke in the numbers of people enquiring about debt counseling (Debt Busters)
  • Nearly two million South Africans rely on payday loans to get through the month (Consumer Credit Market Report)

 What to look out for – possible tell-tale signs of financial stress:      

  • Increase in garnishee orders or requests for employment declaration forms which may be needed to apply for debt.
  • Increase in sick leave due to financial stress or other irregular absences from work where an employee might need to take time off due to a financial crisis.
  • Increase in preventable medical issues simply because employees do not have the money to go and see a doctor in the early stages of illness.
  • Constant request for a salary review or increase where financial stress forces employees to first look at their employer to pay them more so they can cope.
  • Lack of focus, irritability and poor judgment at work, impacting negatively on performance.
  • A visible decrease in their performance with a resulting loss in productivity, simply because their focus is elsewhere.
  • Increased grievances or complaints in the working environment, possibly negatively impacting on relationships with colleagues.
  • Greater staff turnover as financially stressed employees are forced to look for better paid employment elsewhere. This takes a huge toll on employers as it is costly to recruit and train new staff all the time.
  • Employees taking on a second job in the evenings or weekends (with or without the employer’s blessing), leading to overworked, exhausted employees whose performance suffers.

Employee financial stress kills productivity. No doubt about it.

While many people believe the answer to financial stress is to earn more money, this is the furthest from the truth. Knowing how to work with money is a life skill that not everyone has, but it is within everyone’s grasp with some education and by putting the principles and lessons into practice. Once you have mastered this skill, they will be able to live a financially healthy and worry free life and can focus on living, instead of being consumed by negativity and worry.

So get help today either by means of debt counseling or enlist the help of a money coach that can assist you in restructuring and bringing your finances under control. Don’t wallow and let the situation get worse – a small step today will make a huge difference in you life.

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