By Mrs. Shay Cook, CEO of Crusaders for Change, LLC (C4C) Accredited Financial Counselor® & Financial Fitness Coach®
As the holiday season approaches, it's a time for joy, gratitude, and giving. Yet, for many, it can also be a time of financial stress and worry. The holiday season brings with it the temptation to overspend. From gifts to decorations to festive meals, the expenses can add up quickly. Many of your team members may feel the pressure to meet societal expectations, leading to financial strain. But we are to be in the world, not of it. Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Empowering employees for financial health and wellness is not just a compassionate gesture; it's a strategic move that can have a significant positive impact on your business. Financial stress can significantly impact job performance. Employees burdened by financial worries may struggle to concentrate, make errors, and even take time off work due to stress-related health issues. According to a survey by Salary Finance, a whopping 48% of employees reported financial worries. This financial worry and stress often escalates during the holiday season.
By empowering your employees to achieve financial wellness, you can improve their job satisfaction, reduce absenteeism, and enhance overall productivity. Engaged and financially healthy employees are more likely to go the extra mile for your business. It’s time to empower your team and help them be financially healthy during the holiday season.
But how can you help them?
Let’s review four key strategies to empower your team's financial well-being this holiday season:
1. Begin with a Strong Foundation - Financial Education
Start by providing resources and workshops on budgeting/spend plans, saving, and managing debt. Equip your team with the knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions. People don’t leave their financial stress at home. Each interaction with their coworkers, vendors, and clients is clouded by this nagging worry.
Consider implementing a comprehensive financial wellness program. These programs often cover a range of topics, including budgeting, debt management, and retirement planning.
When you give your employees help with their money, it can make them better and more focused at their jobs, and this improvement will affect how they interact with others too. Giving your employees access to personalized advice and counseling about money matters can make them feel better about themselves and interact better with those around them, whether that is with their coworkers or your clients/customers.
2. Set Realistic Expectations and Encourage Mindful Spending
Encourage open conversations about holiday spending within your organization. Let your team know that it's okay to set boundaries and prioritize their financial well-being.
Set an example for your team that focuses on meaningful experiences rather than material possessions.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)
When Jesus spoke these words during the Sermon on the Mount, it emphasized the temporary, transient nature of earthly possessions. Be reminded to encourage your team to focus on spiritual and eternal values rather than accumulating possessions on earth. These words remind all of us that our true treasure should be found in our relationship with God, and in acts of love, kindness, and righteousness rather than material wealth.
Help your team discover the joy of giving to others and the happiness found in spending quality time with loved ones. As a leader, you can set the tone. Share your own financial goals and practices with your team. This vulnerability can inspire others to take charge of their finances.
3. Incentivize Charitable Giving
Encourage charitable giving during the holidays, and offer different opportunities for employees to give of their time, money, or possessions. Giving back not only spreads goodwill but also reinforces the value of generosity over materialism. People who give charitably have higher levels of Subjective Well-Being (a measure of happiness), compared to those who do not donate to charity.
Luke 6:38 (NIV): "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Emphasize the importance of love, compassion, kindness, and generosity in our interactions with others. The message of finding the true spirit of the holidays is love, gratitude, and connection rather than materialism.
4. Provide Financial Counseling
Offer access to Accredited Financial Counselors® who can provide one-on-one guidance. Sometimes, personalized advice can make all the difference. As a business owner, boss, religious or team leader, your role in empowering your team's financial well-being is invaluable. By providing the tools, resources, and support they need, you enable them to navigate the holiday season with confidence and grace. At Crusaders for Change, we help increase employees' engagement by decreasing their personal finance stress so that organizations have lower absenteeism, higher profitability, and increased productivity.
Remember, the true spirit of the holidays is not found in extravagant gifts or lavish parties. It's in the love, gratitude, and connection we share with one another. Encourage your team to embrace this spirit, and you'll empower their financial well-being and create a workplace community that thrives on the values of compassion, empathy, and generosity.
Here's to a holiday season filled with financial peace, joy, and abundance for you and your entire team.