Employee debt status affects workplaces

“Did you ever think that if you made the place where you spend most of your day pleasant, because you improved your debt situation and so you no longer face the fear of creditors visiting your workplace with threats or demands, resulting in your employer becoming aware of your dire situation with an outcome of a job loss? Wouldn’t you love to have the same peace of mind you had when you first arrived or started your employment?”

Learn to ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ as so aptly quoted by Gandhi.

I would love to access large corporations, government departments and other multinational owned companies to create ‘debt awareness’ within the corporate environments. Owners, senior management and other executives should welcome these forms of enlightenment for their employees because it would ensure that their staff remain productive, perform well, and is positive when coming to work daily, initiate and nurture sound client and colleague relationships, where the end result would only be beneficial to the company. After all, the success of any company is totally dependent on the performance of their employees!

Employers who intend to cut back on staff allowances, incentives and other benefits included in staff packages should also be very aware that these crucial changes that they decide upon in a day and then institute the following week, induces an immediate crisis situation in personal lives.

Naturally people must prepare for drastic financial changes, also possibly ascertaining the viability of remaining with their current employers and not seeking alternative employment for improved remuneration. They may have received a far better offer that they declined recently, because they felt they were obligated to be loyal to their employer. There are many employees who are loyal, but the emotional impact of retrenchments, terminations, cut backs on remuneration and all these negative aspects can crush anyone’s will to conquer adversity if they are unprepared.

Psychologically if a person is heavily indebted whether self-inflicted or not, it will always have an adverse effect, but very few employers hold that form of empathy because as they say, it was a business decision. Yet, the entire business experienced growth and a sound reputation due to the joint efforts or employees, because without them, the business would never have grown, improved or existed.

The human aspect is, therefore, almost never considered and it will take many years before this mind-set is changed to what we can term as acceptable. As an employer myself, I have always taken this into consideration when scaling down and prior to the moment, I resorted to placing my staff with longstanding clients and opportunities were afforded to me in instances where no vacancies were available. So, if you don’t try, you will never know if you can succeed and remember like ourselves, our employees also have responsibilities back home, so being inconsiderate as an employer, would mean cutting the life-line of families back home, which is more important most times, than the employee.

Consideration is the primary key because if that person is middle aged, or a ‘baby boomer’ then they have planned a savings scheme, pension and retirement annuities where, if they lose their job, they can no longer service these major commitments and so the end value is substantially reduced and they simply lose overall with no way of recouping the lost funds.

Hence, although perceived as a small issue, just to reduce staff, sometimes it is not that simple as the impact could be huge, so all-round there is a tremendous amount of awareness that must be created.

Many companies enforce a stringent policy pertaining to their staff affording themselves of loans, credit cards and other credit facilities, but there is a limit to which a company can control their staff actions, because the company is not a guarantor in any one instance. So the bank is not bound to refuse approvals for an employee, irrespective of whether that employee must secure a salary letter to qualify for the facility. Of late, some companies have enforced a stringent policy on the issuance of salary letters, which is a good indication, where implementing policies would enable Human Resource

Managers to track such approved issued letters to Banks and upon their discretion, could decline such letters.

It is time to radically change the mind-set of employees in the work-force of the consequences of creating excessive debt, because the employer is not responsible and, therefore, they stand alone in these times of trouble, possibly losing their job as well so the outcome can be very harsh. Life in general is already harsh but it doesn’t have to be so and neither does anything negative need to hamper the productivity and performance within any organization.

My seminars serve as an ‘eye-opener’ to employees and employers and create a major awareness and possibly be the beginning of new company policies being initiated, more focused on controlling staff personal expenditure and pre-empting their excessive expenditure. In more ways than one an employee would then be protecting their employees from the harsh debt realities they could find themselves facing at any given time.

Debt impacts on productivity and performance because the fallacy that we should not bring our problems to our workplace is unrealistic.

We are all human and we cannot stop ourselves from having a lack of concentration in the workplace, when we are being inundated with bank calls for overdue accounts. So companies can shirk the responsibility as much as they wish, but the harsh realities exist and unless they are willing participants to support their staff with this form of enlightenment, they cannot expect to achieve their desired goals and deliverables.

We live in a phenomenal era, where money is everything, people are passionate to have it, spend it indiscriminately, because materialism is No 1, and they live for the moment and do not envisage the consequences. Employers can prevent situations from reaching an uncontrollable levels by actively engaging with employees and creating this acute awareness.

The rate of indebtedness today is possibly around 90 per cent of people in the world, so the ratio is extremely high and most spends money they don’t have and have not yet earned. Workplaces are no longer just business venues where we spend our day meeting our employment obligations, rather many are overloaded with personal debt problems they are spending an entire day to action, without a positive result, impacting on their companies’ performance.

Personal situations in its massive form now also presents itself, together with the employees in the work place and unless drastic measures are taken, nobody will have the opportunity to be enlightened of the havoc debt can cause in anyone’s life. Life today is trying our hardest to achieve the best life we can get and live it to the fullest.

There is nothing like it, if we have a plan detailing the steps to avoid inevitable pitfalls that will place us in a bad situation in the future. We are in control of lives so by the same token, we must take responsibility for our actions.

Prevention is always better than pain in all facets of life so when you find someone willing to lend you a helping hand, never refuse especially if the person can relate to your situation first-hand and you can resonate with their story.

No book in the world can teach you what people experience personally, it’s like you are that person, you know how that person feels and so you can relate to the exact mind-set, whether the problem is big or small, because all debt problems are the same, they have the same impact and outcome if not effectively controlled and managed.

Target audience for these kinds of seminars is those who need a debt awareness “wake-up call’, guidance and support. Life today focuses on materialism and its always about the ‘have’s’ and the ‘wants’ and sometimes we don’t know how to stop and we don’t even realize we have limitations, until the bottom of the bucket falls out.

If you find yourself in a bad financial situation, then let me inform you that you have absolutely nothing to lose to accept guidance that can change your life. Perhaps not now or immediately, but certainly in the very near future and you will feel and look much better and enable you to enjoy your life to the fullest.

[Note 1: Theda Muller is a UAE-based author of two books: Embrace Financial Freedom Volume One: 10 Proven Ways To Release Debt And Emotional Fears In Today’s Economy, and Volume Two: Releasing Fear And Bouncing Back From A Debt Crisis. She also conducts webinars and live workshops on debt recovery.

Note 2: The views expressed are the author’s own and do not reflect in any way, the views of Emirates 24|7. Readers are advised to carry out their own due diligence before taking any decision.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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