Adding financial wellness to your employee benefits package is becoming more common. According to the TIAA 2022 Financial Wellness Survey1, about half of workers report that they receive some kind of financial wellness resources from their employer. The most common is retirement planning (31%) followed by managing healthcare costs (16%). But is that enough?
The survey found that six out of ten people experience stress over their finances. Despite this concern, only one quarter follow a budget and half do not have enough money in their emergency fund. Yet, those who participate in a financial wellness program are twice as likely to feel financially well.
This is great news for employers because financially healthy employees are less likely to be absent, feel more connected, and are more productive.
However, providing the right tools at the right time is key. Here are 5 ways to ensure that your financial wellness program is not just good, but great.
1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Having any kind of financial wellness program is better than not having one at all. But to have a great program, it needs to focus on the needs of your unique employees. What do they need? What are their concerns? Where do they have financial issues?
This may depend on such things as:
- Education level
- Number of years of employment
- Stage in life
- Family make-up
The likelihood is that your employees run the gamut from young to nearing retirement, and from entry-level to leadership. Some are married, while others are saddled with student loan debt.
That’s why a one-size-fits-all program is not enough. Instead, find a program that is customizable for every employee.
This personalization can help employees move toward financial wellness based on their particular needs.
The 2019 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that employees wanted more than retirement counseling2. They also wanted access to unbiased financial counselors, student loan repayment help, and identity theft protection.
This personalization also means having the information available to your employees when they need it most. The PwC survey found that employees are not likely to seek out information unless they are making an important financial decision, find themselves in a crisis, or are experiencing a major life event. Therefore, a great financial wellness program should be available 24/7 and work on all electronic devices.
2. Provides Actionable Help
Imagine that your employee wants to purchase their first home but learns that their credit score is too low. They turn to their employer-sponsored financial wellness program and get some great information about credit scores – like what they are and why they are important.
However, they never learn what they actually need to do to improve their score. Or maybe they are given a few tips but these tips aren’t helpful because of their unique situation. In that case, the financial wellness program failed because it failed to provide them with an action plan to correct their dilemma.
A great financial wellness program will:
- Understand your employees' financial picture through the use of financial and personality assessments
- Provide useful information about the topic
- Help employees produce a financial plan of action with specific actionable steps
In the example above, the employee might learn how to check their credit report, ways to reduce current debt, tips for paying bills on time such as using the automatic payment feature, and more.
3. Not Just Content But Quality Content
Many financial wellness plans have a goal to sell a product, and this goal creates a bias when educating employees. For example, a financial wellness program sponsored by a 401(k) plan will likely spend a lot of time on retirement with the hopes of gaining more 401(k) users.
Unfortunately, even if the information provided is solid, your employees may see it as an advertisement rather than as helpful.
A great financial wellness platform is one that has no bias. For example, Enrich provides material from industry experts, looking for the best content from the most reliable sources.
The quality content provided by your financial wellness program should help employees in the many areas of financial wellness from budgeting and debt reduction, to investing and identifying theft. The goal is to help your employees prepare for economic challenges, increase their financial confidence, and help them gain financial wellness.
In addition to unbiased information, a great financial wellness program offers information in a variety of ways. Look for a program that offers:
- Learning modules
4. Offers a Holistic Approach
Although many employers offer financial and health wellness benefits, few combine these benefits to provide a holistic approach. A great financial wellness program understands that employees with poor financial health are likely suffering emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
In other words, all employee wellness is connected – so financial wellness should address these aspects as well.
A holistic program, like Enrich, helps you create an educational program that connects to all areas of your employees’ lives. By combining different strategies and practices, a holistic program will help employees see how financial wellness affects them, and then provide them with the ability to make sound financial decisions that improve their lives.
5. Gives Feedback
Finally, a great financial wellness program is not static. Instead, employers will fine-tune the program based on employee opinions and ideas.
Remember, the goal of a financial wellness program is to help employees gain financial security. Therefore, knowing exactly what they need is key to developing the best program possible.
To learn more about Enrich and how it can help you develop a great financial wellness program for your employees, schedule a demo today.
1 - https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/2022_financial_wellness_survey_final_results.pdf
2 - https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/private-company-services/images/pwc-8th-annual-employee-financial-wellness-survey-2019-results.pdf