As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned many lessons from both my own life and observing the behaviors of others. It’s hard to function on two hours of sleep. Drinking alcohol to excess will lead to regrettable behaviors, not to mention a massive headache the next morning. A constant diet of fast food will lead to weight gain and other issues that will leave a doctor frowning during a physical examination.
Your employees know about each of the lessons I’ve described. Even though most people know about the adverse results, they continue the behaviors that lead to them. Why is this?
Did you know that the American Psychological Association’s survey on stress determined that 72% of American adults are stressed about money at least some of the time, and 26% are stressed about money most or all of the time? To further this point, a separate report found that 60% of American workers’ distress over financial issues impacts their ability to focus at work and has caused 1 in 3 to miss or be late for work because of their financial situation. These are your employees and your company’s efficiency at stake.
What is causing all of this financial stress? Much of it is rooted in negative thoughts about money and finances. Where did these negative thoughts originate? For many, it comes from childhood. Behavioral scientists refer to these beliefs as “scripts, tapes, or records,” and the majority them were given to us by authoritative figures early in life. Parents, teachers, and other trusted adults complain negatively about financial situations and pass along that paradigm to the next generation.
If Dad couldn’t pay the gas bill and grumbled, you probably formed a negative connotation with bill paying at an early age. If Grandma constantly talked about how impossible it was to deal with financial “stuff,” you may have had it ingrained that dealing with financial “stuff” was too hard and avoided it.
Scientists estimate that the average person has between 50,000 and 60,000 thoughts a day.
Science has also learned that unfortunately 70-85% of these thoughts are negative. Since many people think about finances often, that accounts for many negative thoughts about money each day. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophesy!
The answer to the question posed at the beginning of this post (Why is this?) has much to do with negativity in thoughts and actions. It’s time for a change. Financial wellness isn’t just about education, it’s about taking action. Sometimes that action is simply making a decision. That first decision should be choosing to think positively about money. This choice will then lead to other healthier financial behaviors.
At the Foundation for Financial Wellness, we know that everyone’s knowledge and comfort level with investing is different, so we’ve created tools to be flexible and guide your employees into the areas that they need the most. Our Five Essentials Program starts at the beginning, complete with behaviors and psychology, and leads the user down the path to intentionally creating an investing plan that will lead to sustainable retirement and a lasting legacy.
If your company wants to take action and learn more about educational programs, certifications, or coaching for you and your employees, contact us at www.foundationforfinancialwellness.org. We are a not-for-profit entity simply looking to make a difference. Learn how to Handle Life (and your money) Better.