Employees around the world dread the arrival of Monday every once in a while, and some are notorious for being the last in their chairs when work starts. While these traits aren’t ideal, one person’s tendency to run a few minutes late likely won’t drag an entire team down. What can, however, is an employee with a negative outlook on life who arrives late and leaves early day after day.

One possible cause of an employee’s poor attitude is that he or she has looming debts or is attempting to climb out of a credit score canyon. Workers facing these challenges are often unable to completely focus on their job responsibilities. It’s no surprise that constant stress over meeting financial obligations leads to a loss of focus and time dedicated to work obligations. And because employees work for paychecks that go toward their debts, it makes sense that they begin to associate the two.

Debt fatigue is a real thing, and the symptoms alarmingly resemble depression. I’ve learned firsthand that offering an atmosphere that encourages financial well-being will allow your employees opportunities to learn and grow, and it will prove beneficial to your business as well.

Defeating Debt-Fatigue

About half of all employers in 2017 offered financial advice in some form, and that number is likely to increase over time. From a management perspective, the impact on productivity and quality of work is clear, especially in a smaller office setting. When we endeavored to improve our employees’ credit scores, we noticed an increase in work output and quality, as well as a shift in responsibilities and smaller timelines for projects, because more team members were contributing simultaneously.

An unforeseen benefit of having financially healthy employees was the ability of the team to get acquainted on a more personal level. Especially for younger team members, learning that their experiences are fairly universal helps them realize they’re not alone and isolated. My team members have one another’s backs because they can relate to their co-workers.

For leaders who are tempted to dismiss the importance of relationships at work, it’s important to know that they are the biggest determining factor in employee engagement (registration required). In fact, they’re more important than job meaningfulness, corporate culture and career development opportunities.

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