With the rise of millennials and Generation Z grads, the workforce is rapidly changing. Young, educated professionals bring a lot to employers for sure—like energy, enthusiasm, and a thirst for innovation. But these days, they also come with some financial baggage: high levels of student loan debt. That debt can be crippling and distracting, and on top of that, it’s also an obstruction to both short- and long-term financial goals.
It’s no secret that organizations directly feel the impact of the hardship. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Report, 28% of 1,600 full-time U.S. employees surveyed admit that personal finances cause them to be distracted at work—up from 20% in 2015. Among those workers, 46% spend three or more hours a week, while at work, dealing with or thinking about their financial situations, compared to 37% in the previous year. Yet few HR teams are taking steps to address the problem effectively and help their employees—and their company’s ROI.
In this first part of our new series on employee wellness, recruitment, and engagement, we at SoFi want to provide actionable insights on how to better understand the financial burden of student loan debt that these employees face, and what to do to help ease the pressure through financial assistance, education, training, and support.