When Spring Bank headquartered in the South Bronx 10 years ago, we knew our community was being financially exploited by predatory loan providers and check cashing businesses. During the height of the financial recession and at a time when other banks were leaving, it made no sense. Why would we decide to invest here? Simply put: We believe every person has the right to build wealth for themselves and for their families. We set our vision to create financial access for as many people as we possibly could.

Quickly, we realized that to reach the greatest number of New Yorkers in need of financial access and credit building we should reach out to the businesses and non-profits that employ them. And we heard from our employer partners that financial stress directly impacts employee productivity. In fact, according to a study by MetLife, 71 percent of employees say their top source of stress is personal finances. Additionally, an annual survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed that 78 percent of human resource professionals say financial concerns can have a negative impact on employee productivity. So what can you do to support your employees and help ensure their financial well-being? Here are 4 tips to support you as your support your team:

  1. Offer Free Financial Counseling: Based on the stage of their lives, each employee will have different financial needs. Educational luncheons on topics like debt payoff, credit building and retirement planning or facilitating one-on-one financial counseling with a non-profit resource, can go a long way in making a commitment to the financial health of your employees.
  2. Incentivize Savings: In an era when benefits are being cut, set yourself apart and attract top talent by matching 401K contributions and/or Health Savings Accounts.
  3. Partner with a Community Bank: Community banks offer your employees personalized attention and often work with them to connect them to local financial resources via their nonprofit networks. It’s likely, if you ask, that they may even come to your place of work and offer free financial training and offer a credit builder loan.
  4. Help them weather an emergency or financial shortfall: Over half of Americans don’t have $1,000 in a savings account to cover an unexpected cost like a car breaking down or an emergency medical cost. You can reduce employee absenteeism and increase retention by partnering with a community bank to offer a small loan product.

The financial well-being of your employees is crucial to their overall health. We know you work hard to make your workplace productive, innovative and happy. If we can support you in this vision, we’d love to do so. Contact me at mstern@springbankny.com to learn more about how we can support you. –Melanie and the Team at Spring Bank