It is hard to read, watch, or scroll through the news today without recognizing that the U.S. economy is in a state of uncertainty following the COVID-19 pandemic. While some experts are divided on whether an official recession is in our future, people nationwide are dealing with inflation’s impact on fundamentals. According to recent data, the Consumer Price Index rose 9.1% from a year ago, with some of the biggest price increases in food, rent, and gasoline. On top of this, employers are seeing a significant rise in health care costs and some corporations are facing tightening budgets and layoffs, despite historic lows in unemployment.

While business professionals do plan for future economic white waters, it is critical for HR and benefits professionals to proactively plan for the impact this uncertainty can have on their workforce and company culture. Financial stress can affect employee mental health, productivity, and retention, which can contribute to an overall undesirable environment. Despite these negative indicators, HR leaders have opportunities to engage and support their employees, encourage them to be present and productive, and feel better about their circumstances. Here are three key ways HR leaders can address these issues and improve financial wellbeing among their workforce during times of economic uncertainty, and improve overall wellbeing in the process.

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