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Increase Employee Financial Literacy

In October, I attended a Financial Literacy seminar in Dallas hosted by the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Greater Dallas.  The panel included Rosie Rios (U.S. Treasurer), Eloy Villafranca (FDIC Regional Community Affairs Officer), The Honorable Judge Eric Moye’ (14th District Court of Texas), Alfreda Norman (V.P. Community Development, Dallas Fed), Todd Mark (VP, Education, CCCS) and journalists Ilyce Glink (CNN Moneywatch) and Pamela Yip (Dallas Morning News).

Based on the statistics discussed, the odds are high that at least one, possibly more, of your employees, or someone close to them, is undergoing a personal financial crisis.  For example, Judge Moye’ noted that he used to hear one or two foreclosure cases a week but that over the past few years he has added an entirely new docket dedicated to foreclosures—hearing up to 14 a week.  A huge increase, especially given that Texas is considered to have weathered the foreclosure storm well.

The panel stressed the overwhelming effect that financial challenges have on every aspect of our lives and how increasing financial literacy and knowledge of the resources available reduces that stress and empowers solutions and personal economic recovery.

The holiday spending season is upon us; the advertising blitz has already begun.  Decorations are up, and stress levels, already high from economic uncertainty, are rising with the added holiday-spending pressure.  Financial worries are overwhelming, they will sap your and your employees’ mental energy and lead to decreased productivity, carelessness, and mistakes.

What can you do?

Educate yourself and your staff to empower better-informed financial decisions.

Host a financial literacy seminar (better yet, host a series – CCCS offers free seminars, register here); post information about consumer and money management hotlines and websites; add a weekly or monthly financial literacy article to your newsletter or bulletin board; or subscribe to a few financially-oriented magazines and leave them in the employee lounge.

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