The workforce climate is changing. People are coming out of the last two years with a fresh view of what they want out of a job. Not only do they understand the importance of a financially secure future, but they know that they have options in where they work and what they receive.
People want – and deserve – a wide array of financial wellness benefits. They want:
- Dental and vision coverage
- 401(k)s and IRAs
- Flexible spending accounts
- Health savings accounts
- Student loan repayment programs
- Employer-sponsored emergency funds
- Wellness stipends
Not only do people expect these financial wellness benefits to be part of a hiring package, but they are even willing to forgo paid time off (PTO) in favor of receiving them.
That’s right. Employees would rather have a benefits package that helped them achieve financial wellness than receive an additional week of paid vacation.
Many employees look forward to vacation as a way to de-stress and get away from the shackles of a job that they don’t enjoy. The amazing thing is, though, that a job that provides financial wellness feels less confining than one that doesn’t. People enjoy working more when they are well taken care of.
Preparing for the Future
Current generations are more aware of the importance of creating financial stability compared with those who came before them. Indeed, they’ve finally “listened to their mothers,” and are making smart financial decisions.
All generations, though, felt the effects of the last two years. People all over the country tapped into their savings just to survive, and younger generations specifically were laid off in disproportionate numbers.
It’s also much more prominent through the news and social media how much people need to be prepared for their futures. Inflation is rising, we are in a recession, and the housing market is a disaster. People want to control what they can.
What Employers Can Do to Help Foster Financial Wellness
Although some employers might say that it isn’t their job to teach employees financial skills, the truth is that people who feel financially secure are more likely to stay in their positions. This is good news for employers – a high employee turnover rate costs businesses outrageous amounts each year.
There are plenty of ways that employers can help their team learn and utilize financial wellness skills, even if they can’t offer the range of benefits listed above.
- Teach them to create and use a budget – Creating a budget (or, on a larger scale, a financial plan) and using one are two separate but related skills. Employers can hold a class to teach people how to allocate their money and how to keep track of where it’s going.
- Give a retirement workshop – Almost half of the people within ten years of retirement age have nothing saved for retirement.1 That’s frightening. Show employees how putting away a nominal amount each month can make for exponential growth to set them up for the future.
- Normalize debt (management) – People have debt, that’s no secret. Whether it’s credit cards, car payments, or a house-poor mortgage, it becomes overwhelming. Teach people how to tackle one debt at a time and snowball those payments toward the next highest account.
- Demystify insurance – It’s a requirement now that every American has health insurance. However, many people don’t know what they’re paying for or how they can get the most out of it. Many also don’t know that taking out other less-common insurance policies, such as life, renters, disability, homeowners, or long-term care, can help them become more financially secure.
- Make investments accessible – Many people think about “investments” as a word for the wealthy. However, even entry-level employees benefit from investments and can afford them if they know how to smartly structure their finances. People need information and education, though, to do this well.2
Offering workshops and classes such as these help employees in several ways.3 Employers who incorporate these skills into their corporate culture benefit their employees by:
- Reducing stress
- Helping people recognize poor habits
- Normalizing conversations about money
- Encouraging employees to stay on track
Employees Know What They Want
Incorporating financial wellness seminars into your workplace routine shows that you value your employees and want the best for them. This creates a team with high morale who will work hard for their own – and your – success.
The Enrich program has several courses that make this process easy for employers, including Investing to Build Wealth, How to Make the Most of Your Health Savings Account, and Planning for Retirement.
These benefit you just as much as they benefit your employees. Financially secure people are less stressed, more satisfied with their lives overall, and more likely to work efficiently and with a positive attitude.
The bottom line is that employees are demanding what they deserve. Companies have the choice of whether or not to offer these financial wellness programs to their team. However, if and when they don’t, people are likely to look elsewhere for employment.
1 - https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/sipp.html
2 - https://www.gobankingrates.com/investing/americans-feel-they-dont-know-about-investing/
3 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3828373/