Five signs that your employees might be financially stressed

What happens when you drop a stone into the still waters of a pond? It creates ripples. That’s the effect that financial stress has on people’s lives.

Financial concerns like paying a child’s school fees or a huge debt pile-up can negatively impact health, mental wellbeing, and the overall quality of life. Studies by the European Society of Cardiology estimates that financial stress can cause a massive 13-fold increase in the risk of a heart attack. And most Indian employees feel financially insecure.

A TimesJobs survey in 2016 revealed that as many as 50% of employees in India are worried about their finances.

The ripple effect extends beyond relationships with family and friends. It seriously affects performance at work. Financial issues are prickly and a highly personal topic that’s not easily talked about. Coupled with the prevalent notion that employers are generally unsympathetic to an employee’s personal woes, people begin to disengage as they become increasingly unhappy.

This is where you, as an employer, can be observant and help vulnerable employees. Just as you monitor employees’ productivity or measure their performance through KPIs, it’s important to keep track of their overall wellbeing too.

But issues with wellbeing are not as easy to spot, especially if they are related to finances. How would you know what to watch out for in this case? Here are five warning signs indicating that an employee is in distress.

Spike in absenteeism

Is an employee taking too many days off? Unless there is a prolonged medical crisis, this is a big red flag. Increasing absenteeism and letting their work fall apart are classic signs that an employee is under great stress. Sleeplessness, depression, and frequently falling sick are all leading symptoms that are noticeable over a period and can keep employees away from work.

Drop in performance

Is your star performer suddenly exhibiting signs of disinterest, lack of effort, and appear distracted? Financial worries could be the cause. If they are stressed about their children’s higher education or an ageing parent’s medical bills, they are bound to lose focus and be less productive, causing their performance to suffer.

Working overtime

Financial stress can also push workers to the other end of the spectrum. They can take on additional shifts for extra pay, working overtime frequently to earn more much-needed cash. Changes in the working patterns and times of your employees are, therefore, key indicators of what’s on their minds.

Moody behaviour

We all have our moods, but when someone is extremely stressed, it shows in irrational outbursts or unwanted arguments. Appearing agitated, nervous, and extremely tired are all worrisome signs.

Withdrawing provident funds

Provident funds are the backbone of an employee’s savings. When an employee attempts to withdraw those funds prematurely it is a definite sign of financial stress.

The causes behind aberrant behaviour like these are not necessarily financial stress. But more often than not, people are most worried about securing their finances. This is where you can help by being approachable and creating an environment for your employees to open up.

Join hands with PerkFinance to eliminate financial stress for your employees and help them lead a wholesome life. As employers you can be the change that they need.

At PerkFinance we know employees are the heart of an organization. That’s why we make the process of borrowing easy and accessible to ensure financial wellness. At zero cost and zero risk to you. Visit PerkFinance to know more or contact us at

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