More and more companies are concerned with the financial health of their employees, with 62 percent1 feeling extreme responsibility, which has led to more companies offering some sort of financial wellness benefits.

Unfortunately, only one-third2 of those that offer financial wellness benefits measure the success of their program.

Evaluating program data can help companies to:

  • Fine-tune/change the financial wellness program to meet the specific needs of their employees
  • Improve communication about the financial wellness program in terms of what is said, when it is said, and the channels through which it is said
  • Know if the program is effective in helping employees become more financially well
  • Determine the return on investment of the financial wellness program

One reason why companies are not measuring the success of their financial wellness benefit is that they do not know what to measure.

At Enrich, we suggest that companies use both hard data and employee-reported data in the following areas to measure success:

  • Employee Financial Behaviors: These are behaviors that determine an employee's financial health in such areas as saving, budgeting, and debt reduction.
  • Employee-specific Metrics: In this area, companies determine how much their employees know about finances and how they feel about their financial health. 
  • Employer-specific Metrics: This set of metrics looks at how employees feel about their employer and how well they use the benefits offered by their employer.
  • Program-specific Metrics: Finally, you should look at how satisfied employees are with the financial wellness program and their usage and engagement levels with the program.

Within each of these metrics, companies have the option to break down the data into groups such as age, sex, department, salary level, location, employee type (full-time, part-time, remote, etc.), and more. 

Here are 65 different metrics to consider as you measure the success of your company's financial wellness program:

Employee Financial Behavior Metrics

Financial wellness programs must help employees change their financial behaviors by providing the right education, tools, and motivation. Not only do employees need to learn about retirement savings, but they need to be given tools to make saving easier and be motivated to add funds to their retirement plan.

Without behavior change, employees will not experience financial wellness. 

That is why looking at specific financial behavior changes can be a good indicator of a successful financial wellness program. Here are some metrics to consider in this area:

Financial Planning

1. Percentage increase of employees who create a budget 

2. Percentage increase of employees who use a budget at least yearly/quarterly/monthly/weekly

3. Percentage increase of employees who check their account balances at least monthly

4. Percentage increase of employees who pay their bills on time

Retirement Account

5. Percentage increase of employees who contribute to their retirement savings

6. Percentage increase of the amount contributed to retirement savings

Saving

7. Number of employees who have an emergency savings account

8. Percentage of employees with an emergency savings balance equal to or greater than three months of living expenses

9. Percent of employees on track for other savings goals

Credit and Debt

10. Percentage increase of employees who pay their credit card in full each month 

11. Percentage decrease in employee average credit card balance 

12. Percentage decrease in employee average student loan balance 

13. Percentage increase in average employee credit score  

Employee-Specific Metrics

Those who understand financial concepts such as compounding interest and credit scores are at a significant advantage to those who do not, especially when this knowledge is linked with behavior change.

In the general US population, only half3 of those surveyed could answer questions related to earning, consuming, saving, investing, borrowing, insuring, risk, and finding accurate advice. 

Related article: New Study Shows that Employees Need a Financial Wellness Benefit

When literacy is low and employees implement poor financial behaviors, financial stress increases.

A Salary Finance survey4 found that stressed employees bring their stress to work, which shows by employees not completing daily tasks (38 percent), not doing tasks well (34 percent), and having poor relationships with their co-workers (28 percent).

This stress can cost employers up to 14 percent of payroll expenses, which adds up to $500 billion each year for US companies5

Because of this, employers need to measure the levels of financial literacy, financial stress, and the financial health of their employees when evaluating the success of financial wellness benefits.

Employee Financial Literacy and Knowledge

14. Overall employee financial knowledge

15. Financial knowledge by salary level

16. Financial knowledge by age

17. Financial knowledge by department

18. Percentage of overall knowledge gain

19. Percentage employees with benefits knowledge

20. Overall employee financial confidence

21. Employee financial confidence by salary level

22. Employee financial confidence by age

23. Employee financial confidence by department

Employee Financial Stress

24. Overall employee financial stress 

25. Employee financial stress by salary level

26. Employee financial stress by age

27. Employee financial stress by department

28. Overall number of hours spent on the job each week on financial worries

29. Number of hours spent on the job each week on financial concerns by salary level

30. Number of hours spent on the job each week on financial worries by age

31. Number of hours spent on the job each week on financial worries by department

32. Number of claims for stress-related illnesses

33. Number of workplace accidents

Employee Financial Health

34. Number of 401k loans

35. Percentage of employees taking 401(k) loans  

36. Average retirement loan balance

37. Average number of retirement loans taken per employee

38. Percentage of employees taking payday advances/loans

39. Percentage of employees with student loans

40. Percentage of employees able to meet month-to-month financial obligations

41. Percentage of income spent on discretionary expenses

Employer-Specific Metrics

Employers will also want to look at metrics specific to their company. This includes such things as employee satisfaction and engagement.

When employees are satisfied and engaged, they are less likely to seek employment elsewhere. Anything that can help companies retain employees is positive because the cost of finding new employees, on average, is $7.645 for each new hire6

One way to determine engagement levels is whether an employee is using the benefits provided by the company. The more the benefits are used, the more likely the employees are happy and engaged.

Financial wellness programs have been shown to move benefit participation for benefits such as retirement savings, HSA, and EAP higher.

Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

42. Employee satisfaction with the employer

43. Employee perception of the employer

44. Employee turnover percentage

45. Employee days absent

Employee Retirement Plan Participation

46. Retirement plan participation rate

47. Retirement plan average contribution

48. Average retirement plan balance

49. Percentage of employees contributing enough to 401k to get a full employer match

Other Employee Benefits Participation

50. HSA contribution rate

51. EAP Participation rate 

52. Utilization of other employee benefits

Program-Specific Metrics

Finally, companies will want to look at how satisfied employees are with the financial wellness program. In addition to self-reported feelings about the program, companies can rely on both engagement and usage data.

Engagement data looks at things like how, when, and how often employees use the program. Usage data looks at the number of employees that use the program.

Both of these statistics depend on the company's commitment to financial wellness, the incentives provided, and the communications about the program to employees. 

Employee Program Satisfaction

53. Overall financial wellness program satisfaction

54. Employee satisfaction with types of financial wellness courses offered

55. Employee satisfaction with how financial wellness courses are delivered

56. Employee satisfaction with communication about the financial wellness program

Employee Program Engagement Levels

57. Page views per visit

58. Average time per visit

59. Number of course completions

60. Percent of employees who respond to promotional materials

Employee Program Usage Levels

61. Total financial wellness program registrations

62. Percentage of employee population registered

63. Percentage of return logins

64. Number of times employees use the program over a specified period of time 

65. Growth in program users

Be sure to find a financial wellness program that provides data in each of these four categories and then supplement the data with user-provided responses through quarterly or yearly surveys.

Armed with this data, your company can be sure they are helping their employees become financially healthy.

 

 

1 - https://benefitplans.baml.com/publish/content/application/pdf/GWMOL/2020-Workplace-Benefits-Report.pdf

2 - https://benefitplans.baml.com/IR/pages/workplace-benefits-report.aspx

3 - https://gflec.org/initiatives/personal-finance-index/

4 - https://www.salaryfinance.com/us/financial-wellness-guide-2019/

5 - https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes_nat.htm

6 - http://www.naceweb.org/s05012013/cost-per-hire-benchmark.aspx