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This afternoon I was reading a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and saw a statistic that surprised me, even though I’m not sure it should have.

According to the BLS, over the next 10 years our population is projected to rise by only 0.7%. Even worse for employers, the labor force in that same time period is only projected to grow by 0.4%. As I read it, as hard as it’s been to find workers over the past three years, I don’t expect we’ll see any relief over the next ten, making it all the more important to keep the good workers that we already have trained and happy.

Along those lines, late last year our Young Professionals Group (YPG) requested that FPSA develop a new benefit that would help employees of member companies learn to better manage their money. As staff dug deeper into this topic, we discovered two statistics that I found particularly worrisome.

  1. Studies show that employees spend on average roughly 28 hours per month, worrying about their finances,
  2. This issue has a cost of roughly $5,000 per employee in lost productivity.

As we looked further into this, it was apparent that this is a concern, not just for younger junior staff but also older staff who might even be making a decent amount. I’d venture to say that in our private lives we all know someone who fits this description, maybe more than one. I’m not judging here, and in fact I am quite sympathetic to that person.

That is why we launched the FPSA Financial Wellness Program in late 2022. Organized by Truist Bank, FPSA staff sat with an officer from Truist to decide how this would benefit member companies and their employees. As part of this process, we went through their pillars of financial success to better understand the program. While some of this was common sense, other parts provided insight into how I myself could improve my own situation. Furthermore, I couldn’t help but think how some of these lessons would be good for my college graduate son who is in the early stages of his career to learn.

Peter from Truist advised us that this program was not set up to make money but rather to provide good counseling for corporate clients. Yes, I’ve heard that before but at $18/employee for the year, I’m sure Truist is not getting rich. The only drawback to the program, if you can call it that, is that Truist doesn’t sign up individuals for this program. They sign up the company. I’m guessing that’s more manageable on their end. As such, my YPG member who wanted this program and is excited to participate can’t sign up directly. She needs to have her company sign up for the program.

Now from my point of view, that should not slow things down. After all, it’s in the company’s best interest to have its employees feeling comfortable about their finances and not worrying away those 28 hours each month. Additionally, Peter explained that the employees they’ve worked with in this program appreciate the financial training that their employers invested in, and obviously at a cost of $18 per employee, it’s quite possibly the cheapest employee benefit you’ll ever see.

Any and all FPSA member companies are welcome to join this program, or at least investigate further if it’s worth it for them. Peter Faser’s contact information is located in the members-only section of the website, or you can feel free to inquire with me. It’s a great program that could really be beneficial to some of your employees who need it.

On an unrelated note, the FPSA family recently lost two great leaders who served the Association for years. Hank Brink of Cadence Technologies and Warren Hartwell of WRH Industries. Both men served on the inaugural Board of Directors when FPSA was formed in 2006, and were known for their kindness, good humor, and dedication to helping to move the industry forward. They will be missed.

Andy Drennan, FPSA SVP