With unprecedented layoffs, salary cuts and closed businesses due to COVID-19, Outliers Zone is offering financial literacy capacity building to enable effective budgeting and planning.
In a statement the local financial training institute noted that this initiative is targeting persons who are, or have been, experiencing some sort of economic repercussion from the pandemic, especially since the mental impact of reduced income is far reaching for employees, employers and their families.
Due to COVID-19, Employee Financial Education Training has become an essential service to aid staff in creating a financial plan to address their reduced or ceased income.
There are massive benefits companies can derive from providing an Employee financial training during this time, Outliers Zone noted in its statement. “They (companies) will be helping their employees cope with the economic fallout of COVID-19 by providing integral information that will aid in creating smart choices for the remainder of this crisis. If employees understand basic sound financial principles, they can make better financial choices and recover faster.”
More importantly, it was outlined that when employees are less financially stressed, they are likely to be physically and mentally healthier, more productive, more loyal, and less likely to steal from their employers to make ends meet or contemplate suicide. “Now more than ever, is the time for every employer to consider providing financial education training for the good of both employees and the overall company,” the statement added.
These sessions are intended to be done virtually and will be facilitated by the Outliers Zone’s team.
Outliers Zone conducted an informal study with 200 employees and employers from within the public and private sectors, from small to medium businesses and governmental agencies in Region Four, during the period April-May 2020 on the pandemic’s impact of employees and employers. This informal study revealed the devastating impact of the pandemic and personal finances.
Ninety-one percent of a total of 200 stated that the pandemic is causing them financial issues. The areas found to be causing the most stress are: not having an emergency savings to fall back on (85 percent); inability to pay utilities (65 percent); inability to pay rent/mortgage (55 percent); inability to pay car loans and hire purchase payments (51 percent); no family financial plan to overcome this crisis (85 percent) and fear of losing job with no alternative (70 percent).
“Such financial issues impact everyone: Those with household incomes of less than $100,000 per month and those with household incomes over $300,000 per month are equally concerned (85 percent) about their financial situation. The study also shows that 75 percent of Guyanese say they’re ‘very/somewhat worried’ about what their financial situation will be 12 months from now. While 15 percent are ‘very/somewhat optimistic’,” the statement added.
Outliers Zone’s study found both good and bad news when talking to employees and employers about how they are managing their personal finances during the crisis. On the good news side, Guyanese are cutting expenses (50 percent) and starting to save (30 per cent). The bad news is 96 percent wish they had a financial plan, a budget, multiple streams of income and an emergency savings prior to the pandemic.
The financial education sessions are therefore designed to help employees in the following five areas: budget creation, building/rebuilding savings, managing debt, exploring alternative legal sources of income during this time and understanding how to work with lenders and others to obtain hardship adjustment.
In the budget creation area, Outliers Zone explained that this caters even to employees who have been faithful budgeters who may find that their budgets no longer work. Moreover, a strong employee financial education programme can help them create a working budget that takes into account current financial issues. Taking into consideration the build/rebuild savings, Outlier Zone revealed that an informal study done showed that nearly 85 percent of Guyanese do not even have three months of income saved, which obviously is a big issue when a financial crisis hits. Learning how to build or rebuild savings is therefore crucial to being prepared for an emergency, while also reducing financial stress.
Managing debt is important too since for many employees, the pandemic will leave them unable to meet monthly installments. Determining the best way to pay off this debt will be key to overcoming the financial stress caused by COVID-19, Outliers Zone has proposed.
It is clear too that exploring alternative legal sources of income during this time is a requirement for some. The institute has noted the pressures of providing for families can cause employees to consider different means even through their company to make ends meet. However, helping them create a plan will help to alleviate the panic many are experiencing and understanding how to work with lenders and others to obtain hardship adjustment is needed. Having the right understanding about financial contracts will give employees the confidence to create different payment options for such things as mortgages and other bills, it has deduced.
Outliers Zone is a virtual personal financial training institute dedicated to helping companies provide financial education training to train their employees to break free from the pay cheque-to-pay cheque cycle; reduce the risk of company fraud, salary advances and increase employee productivity. This company has worked with over 15 companies and helped over 1,800 households understand finances and lead more peaceful financial lives. For more information on how to register for June month sessions persons can contact Outliers Zone on 617-0173, or email outliers [email protected] or visit their Facebook page Outliers Zone.
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