A successful business is driven by productive and motivated people. However, the simple reality is that employee debt and financial stress have become a major issue for South African business owners and it is resulting in a loss of productivity and profitability. In the current economic environment this is unacceptable for business owners.
The most recent PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey has some interesting insights for employers to consider:
- 35% of ‘Gen Y’ employees – those born between 1980 and 2000 – find it difficult to meet household expenses on time each month. Of those carrying credit card balances, 30% find it difficult to make minimum payments.
- 35% of employees expect to have to use retirement funds for non-retirement needs
- One in five employees report that personal finance issues are a distraction at work
- 37% say they spend three or more hours during work every week worrying about their finances
Bearing in mind that these statistics are based on a US labour market where there is 7% unemployment – as opposed to South Africa which sits above 30% – there is similar, if not greater pressure on South African employees and employers. One has only to look at the tragedy of Marikana to appreciate the impact of rampant credit extension and a frustrated workforce constantly battling under financial strain.
Locally, South Africans spend 76% of their monthly salaries servicing debt and more than 50% of the 19 million credit active consumers in the country are more than three months in arrears.
When employees are constantly running out of money they naturally look at their source of income (their employer) as their cause of financial pressure. This perception is flawed because if these same staff were given a 40% increase in salary they would still be ‘knocking on your door’ for a loan in six months’ time.
“This is why helping people achieve their financial goals is very seldom about just paying them more. This is about a skills gap,” according to Gary Kayle, a leading financial educator and co-founder of The Money School.
“Most people have never had the opportunity to formally learn how to avoid or get rid of debt, how to plan for emergencies or get a household budget to work. It takes a concerted effort, and a wealth-building mindset to make the hard call of keeping their living expenses low to make space for savings and investing,” says Kayle.
“Ultimately it comes down to this,” says Hayley Parry, Kayle’s partner at The Money School. “It’s not about how much you make. It’s about how much you keep.”
The first workshop is scheduled for July 21 2015 and is entitled: “Wealthy Workforce”. Presented by Kayle, the workshop is positioned to equip employees with a game plan to achieve their financial goals even in tough economic times where inflation-related increases is a big ask for employers.
We also invite business owners, HR managers and other influencers to join us for this high impact one-day workshop. You are sure to walk away with a deeper understanding of the financial issues your workforce face and how to more actively engage them around smarter financial decisions.
Running at The Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, the cost per delegate is R1 500 with discounts for multiple bookings.
For more information around financial education initiatives inside your own business please contact Marc Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 344 8600.