The idea that employers have the opportunity to help their employees become and remain financially well is growing.
In fact, according to a MassMutual survey[i], 80 percent of companies within the next three years will offer financial wellness benefits as part of their benefits package.
Although this is great news, it is tempered by the fact that only about 35 percent[ii] of companies measure the success of the financial wellness programs they implement.
Without measuring program outcomes, there is no way to know if it helps change money attitudes and behaviors that produce lasting effects. And if the program is not creating lasting changes for employees, it is just a waste of money.
So, how can organizations know that the financial wellness program they've implemented is making a positive impact? It's as simple as keeping track of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Here are five categories of KPIs that can help all companies determine their employee financial wellness program's effectiveness.
Platform Usage Analytics
The first group of KPIs looks at how employees are using the program. Good employee financial wellness programs should offer these metrics to you as part of the program package. These platform metrics include:
- Percent of Program Users: What percentage of employees use the financial wellness program?
- Growth in Usage of Program Users: The growth in program usage is a great KPI because as some employees use it and like it, they tell others, who then sign up. It can also indicate that communication concerning the program is effective.
- Return Login Rate: This is the percentage that comes back within a specified number of days (180 is a good number). It also determines the average number of times they log in during that time. How often someone logs in helps you determine the engagement of the employee.
- Page Views Per Visit: For each visit, the number of pages each employee views. This is another statistic to help gauge engagement.
- Time Spent on Site per Visit: How long does each employee spend on the site when they visit?
- Number of Course and Assessment Completions: This helps to determine the commitment level to the program and whether the employees are finding the courses to be useful.
- Knowledge Gain: This is a comparison of pre-test scores to post-test scores. As employees achieve higher scores, they are gaining useful financial knowledge.
In addition to platform analytics, you will also want to ask participants how they feel about the financial wellness program and what they are learning. Although more subjective, these scores will help you assess the impact of the financial wellness program:
- User Satisfaction Scores: How do your employees like the program? Are they satisfied with the overall program? The individual courses and components? The way these courses and components are presented? Knowing this information can help you fine-tune the program to meet employee needs.
- Confidence Scores: Users are asked how comfortable they are with the topic before and after taking a course. Rising confidence levels suggest that the course made an impact on their understanding of the financial topic.
- Financial Stress Levels: Studies[iii] show that financial stress is high for most U.S. employees – 67 percent state they regularly feel financial stress. Measuring financial stress levels over time will help achieve the goal of reducing stress by a specified percentage over a given period of time.
Employer Benefits Account Information
One of the metrics most companies use to determine their financial wellness program's success is by looking at employee use of benefits. These numbers should come from your HR department.
In a perfect world, all employees would take full advantage of all the financial benefits offered by a company, but this is never the case. Good financial wellness programs can help move those numbers closer to the ideal:
- Retirement Plan Participation Rate: Percentage of eligible employees who participate in the retirement plan.
- Retirement Plan Average Contribution: As employees learn about retirement savings and the value of compounded interest, the average contribution should go up over time.
- Percent of Employees Getting Full Employee Match: To get the full match, employees must contribute enough to their retirement plan. Strong financial wellness programs will help move this number closer to full participation.
- Number or percent of 401(k) Loans: As employees learn about the pitfalls of taking a 401(k) loan, this number should move closer to zero.
- Number or percent of Payday Loans: Once again, the ideal number is zero. Effective financial wellness programs can help employees make better financial decisions to move this number closer to that goal.
- Utilization Rate of Other Employee Benefits: A good financial wellness program should be configured to include other related benefits and services offered by your company.
As awareness of these related benefits increases, so should their utilization.
Personal Employee Financial Information
Because the goal is to change both attitudes and behaviors, asking employees for personal financial information can be very helpful.
Of course, this information should be gathered in such a way as to ensure employee privacy.
- Percent of Participants with 3 Months Living Expenses in Emergency Savings: The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau[iv] found that the number one predictor of financial wellness was emergency savings
- Percent of Participants on Track with Savings Goals
- Percent of People with no Credit Card Debt
- Average Credit Score
All of these numbers should increase over time with a robust financial wellness program.
Although many variables affect employee satisfaction, the 2019 PWC survey[v] found that employees are more loyal to companies that care about their financial well-being and are more likely to seek other employment that cares more about their financial well-being.
Therefore, it makes sense to look at employment satisfaction KPIs when measuring the effectiveness of financial wellness programs.
- Employee retention
- Employee engagement
- Employee productivity
Enrich Metrics Show Success
The Enrich financial wellness program understands that measuring the success of their program is critical for companies.
Through our internal metrics, user-satisfaction surveys, and user behavior surveys, we have found many positive behavior changes resulting from the use of our financial wellness program, including:
- One third more employees increased savings for specific goals
- Those with three months of emergency savings increased by 27 percent
- 15 percent more employees contributed to the retirement plan
- Maximum retirement plan contributions increased by 10 percent
- 28 percent more employees pay off their credit cards each month
By tracking these KPIs, Enrich is able to ensure a high return on investment for its partners using the platform.
i - https://www.fa-mag.com/news/more-employers-favor-worker-financial-wellness-programs-54596.html
ii - https://benefitplans.baml.com/IR/pages/workplace-benefits-report.aspx
iii - https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/private-company-services/images/pwc-8th-annual-employee-financial-wellness-survey-2019-results.pdf
iv - https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201501_cfpb_report_financial-well-being.pdf
v - https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/private-company-services/images/pwc-8th-annual-employee-financial-wellness-survey-2019-results.pdf