` Financial wellbeing: 8 tips to engage employees | Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA)
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31 Mar 2022

Financial wellbeing: 8 tips to engage employees

Here are eight ways you can help your less financially stable employees build stronger relationships with their money.

A man putting money into glass jars


We’ve all heard of FOMO, but what about FOMMO? Fear of missing money opportunities.

We don’t tend to think of poor financial health in the traditional sense of ‘illness’, but financial unwellness has an impact on overall holistic wellbeing. In fact, according to CapitalOne, 45% of people globally feel anxious about their financial situation.

And, unfortunately, anxiety can lead to avoidance. Poor financial health isn’t always visible on the surface - so opening up the conversation around money and supporting your people with financial wellbeing has never been more important.

How can you nudge everyone toward financial wellness?

We’ve outlined seven ways you can help your less financially stable employees build stronger relationships with their money.

1. Collate data to better understand their needs
When faced with a challenge, your starting point should always be data. If you’re finding your financial wellness programme uptake hasn’t achieved the results you expected, start by analysing who is and isn’t engaging. Then, look at the disparate needs of the disengaged group to identify their challenges.

2. Choose an education-first model
Once you have identified and understand why your people are disengaged, only then can provide and fill the knowledge gaps.

Offering your people an education-first financial wellness solution allows you to be more inclusive. Why? Because an education-first model doesn’t assume what your people know about money management. Instead, it allows individuals to self-select topics more relevant to them and provides an experience that is tailored to their knowledge level, guiding people through at a pace that suits them.

3. Design a simple and accessible solution
When it comes to employee benefits, there’s no need for complexities. You have a short window to engage get your staff onboard. Historically, people have been hit with lengthy pension packs that are hard to digest. Or faced with complicated health insurance sign-in processes and little guidance on where to start.

Those days are gone. In a world where attention spans are shortened, the employee benefits experience needs to be simple, straightforward and accessible to all. Employees want personalised and regular communication, single-sign-on, simple signposting, visual guidance (ie videos) and inclusive technology designed to be accessible to all needs and capabilities.

4. Communicate and listen
What does this mean in a practical sense? It’s all about communication – being regular and personalised. Find out what they like, what they don’t, and tailor accordingly. It will become obvious when a benefit hasn’t landed effectively because no one will be using it.

Take your time to introduce the concept and offer training or masterclasses. Highlight useful programme features and issue reminders through multiple channels.

You could even line up programme or community advocates within each team to help with the adoption. Try not to launch straight into a product or a solution without any warm-up or education – a launch party is always encouraged.

5. Offer access anytime, anywhere
Remove barriers to engagement. The first step is to ask people’s preferences, not just for communication, but learning and development.

We’ve found that harder-to-reach groups tend to engage better through personal devices. Ensure your offering is designed to work seamlessly on mobile and consider using a range of apps (and email, of course). Encourage your people to share and bookmark useful content, so they can come back to it whenever they please.

6. Provide an interactive toolkit
Behavioural psychology tells us that self-selection and incentivising action are important elements of positive reinforcement. When it comes to financial wellness, educational tools and badges to reward positive action are excellent ways to address this need. Consider tools that will give your team the ability to plan, prepare and organise their finances. 

7. Personalisation is key
Although simple, personalisation is often overlooked. If you know what your people are interested in, and give them more of the same, engagement improves.

Though be sure to stay within the parameters of usefulness. Useful is saying, “following the completion of your recent retirement planning learning module, we thought this event would be perfect for you”. You can then follow up with some helpful nuggets of information from the event.

Personalisation takes a little more thought than a ‘one size fits all’ approach - but that extra effort will pay off in your engagement results.

8. Avoid advice
When it comes to engagement, dishing out advice is risky because it’s likely to be tied into products and services, so the intention is misplaced. Financial advice is, as defined by FCA, the distribution of a product. The fear is that there’s a conflict between ‘trusted’ advice and the underlining adviser model. FCA is aware of this and FAMR (FCA’s annual review) identified 13 ways employers can help employees.

The reality is, there are groups of people within your organisation that need more financial wellness support. And often, these are the people who are least likely to ask for help.

By following the steps we’ve outlined to reach these people, and starting the financial wellbeing conversation, you’re making an impact that will last a lifetime – as people who receive high-quality financial education continue pursuing even more learning in this area over time.

In partnership with Nudge

A leading financial wellbeing benefit using behavioural science & technology to help employees.

Contact us today

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