While the U.S. economy is showing signs of recovery, nearly three-quarters of Americans are worried about their jobs and are trying to make ends meet, according to a recent national survey by The Hartford.

The discouraging survey results show Americans are working more, spending less, but still find themselves struggling financially.

"Thirty-seven percent of consumers said they feel they have experienced ‘severe’ financial impact due to the recession. Many have made cutbacks in their spending, dipped into savings and retirement accounts, or taken on new jobs," says Ron Gendreau, executive vice president, The Hartford Group Benefits.

In addition to the financial strain, workers also are feeling the pressure of doing more with less at work,The Hartford finds.

24% say they have additional work or an increased workload.
17% say they feel as though they need to put in more hours at work.
72% feel moderately stressed, and one-third feel very or extremely stressed.

Now, some of you might be thinking, “I feel bad for employees hurting financially and that they’re all so stressed. But what’s that got to do with me?”

Quite a bit, it seems.

When asked how stress is impacting their work environment, employees’ top answers were having less patience with coworkers (38%) and taking longer to complete work (19%).

So, employees are getting less done and are snippy with their coworkers while they’re doing it. Not exactly the culture you’re going for, right?

The key to brightening employees’ mood and boosting productivity? You’ll be happy to hear that benefits plays a big role. Hartford finds that employees who are very satisfied with their benefits are least likely to report high stress.

So go forth, encouraged that the work you’re doing plays a significant role in employee productivity and attitude, and stay vigilant in protecting/adding/enhancing those benefits that your workers value most. You’ll help recession-proof employees, and maybe even yourself at the same time.

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