MADISON, Wis. – Financially-sound workers are productive workers. That's the view of Thomas Garman, Director of Educational Services at the InCharge Institute of America, Orlando Florida. Garman told a colloquium sponsored by the Filene Research Institute, the Center for Credit Union Innovation, and the Center for Credit Union Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that employers can improve their own profitability by offering employees a comprehensive workplace financial program that provides easy access to financial education and advice, along with credit counseling and debt management services. The colloquium, Financial Stress and Workplace Performance: Developing Employer/Credit Union Partnerships, explored ways in which credit unions can contribute to sponsor organizations' bottom line results by offering services that address employee financial stress problems. "The simple fact is that employee money problems affect employer profitability," said Garman. "An employer needs a workforce of financially independent people who want to work and choose to do so. Yet too many employers are not paying enough attention to employee financial problems and challenges." Garman suggests that credit unions partner with sponsor employers to address the financial stress that hurts their productivity in the workplace. He suggested they offer employees credit counseling and debt management programs. In one study, an employer's potential first-year return on investment in workplace financial education was over $400 for employees who improved their financial wellness.

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