MADISON, Wis. -A recent Filene Research Institute report, finds that credit unions are in a unique position to help reduce employee financial stress and increase workplace performance. According to Filene Research Institute Executive Director Bob Hoel, one study revealed that the dollar cost to an employer for an employee who is stressed about money matters averages $400 annually, primarily in work time wasted and absenteeism. Other studies have shown that 15% of employees are so stressed about money that it affects their productivity, a number that rises to 20-30% for jobs paying below-average wages. Studies show that a credit counseling and debt management program improves employee financial wellness and job productivity, including the quantity and quality of employee performance and supervisor ratings of employees. According to Hoel, by working with their sponsor organizations to educate and counsel employees, credit unions not only build goodwill but also foster their reputation as a value-added partner to both employer and employee. Contributing to the research in the Filene monograph were credit counseling expert Dr. E. Thomas Garman, director of Educational Services at the InCharge Institute of America; Robert L. Weisman, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine; and Dr. Flora Williams of the Purdue University School of Consumer and Family Sciences. Garman says that financial wellness programs can add hard dollars to employer bottom lines. For more information about this Filene study phone (608) 231-8550 or visit online at

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