Four tips to improve employee financial wellness

Employee financial wellness – fuelled by spiralling personal debt, increasing healthcare costs, rising housing prices and many other external factors – has quickly become one of the most important benefits in today’s workplaces. Here we look at why financial wellness is so important for today’s employers; which benefits are on offer and how you can provide healthier financial wellness for your workforce today.

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What is employee financial wellness?

Financial wellness doesn’t just mean providing a healthy salary and/or any extra salaried benefits, insurance or rewards. In fact, it’s everything which affects your money and personal financial situation. This can include personal financial coaching, digital investment tools, budgeting apps and much more.

Why should employers invest more in employee financial wellness programs?

53 per cent of employees who participated in a recent survey revealed that financial stress regularly interfered with their ability to focus and be productive at work (Bank of America Merrill Lynch).

But the benefits of having an actionable financial wellness strategy go far beyond the end of quarter productivity levels. They create employer branding capital – something which can support employers in their efforts to attract, recruit and retain top talent in their industry.

Popular examples of employee financial wellness in today’s workplaces

Keen to take advantage of other employers’ shortcomings, a handful of progressive employers are finding new and innovative ways to ease employee financial worries and provide better financial planning, such as:

  • Klarna provide all new parents at their workplace with 20 weeks of parental leave at full pay, as well as a childcare benefit during the child’s first two years – helping employees to focus on their growing families rather than their growing bills
  • PwC provide all employees with extra financial support to help pay off student loan debt
  • Google pays 50 per cent of a deceased employee’s salary to their spouse or partner for 10 years, removing some of those “what if…” worries.

Four steps to providing effective financial wellness programs in the workplace

1. Leverage employee data
Collating, analysing and making use of the employee data you have can help you to tailor an offering which meets your employees’ demographical and unique financial needs. From student debt repayment plans for recent graduates, to preferential mortgage rates for millennials and pension planning for, well, all employees.

2. Educate and coach your employees
Good money management and effective planning can begin with a simple tip or piece of advice. Luckily for today’s employers, there’s a whole industry which specialises in providing large-scale personal solutions to entire workforces. From digital investment services to professional financial coaching, employers have the power to make it easier for their employees to find financial stability. Over 45 per cent of employees in a recent survey by Benify said that just having a better understanding of their personal financial options would increase satisfaction.

3. Maximise employee engagement with financial matters
Use targeted technologies to tailor communication to the employee’s demographic. For example, if you’re looking to increase engagement with your 401k, you can tailor messaging, tone and content per your policy and the employee’s stage on the lifecycle. Want to highlight your childcare policy or benefit? Lift your messaging to focus only on those who have recently returned to work after parental leave.

4. Offer the right financial tools and services
A one-size-fits-all solution ultimately serves no one. Make sure your offer resonates with your unique employee demographics. What do you employees need help with? What do they worry most about? Stay on trend by offering the latest services within personal finance management – from robo-saving tools to financial apps. Lifeplan, for example, recently became the world’s first pension adviser to push personal financial advice direct to the customer’s smartphone. Quite often, the most effective solution can be easiest to implement.

Want to learn more about financial wellness, from employee spending habits to the impact on employee health, download Benify’s free eBook Financial Wellness: The Topic You Can’t Afford to Ignore today. 

This article was provided by Benify.  

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