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21 Mar 2023

What inclusive benefits mean for underserved groups

Making employees feel they belong is good for them and good for business, especially when it comes to financial wellbeing

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The world is diverse and so are people’s interpretations of how best to live a fulfilled and happy life. That sentiment spills into the workplace. An employer might wonder how to keep everyone happy when everyone has different needs, desires and challenges.

Well, it’s not easy. Start by looking at aspects of life that impact most people, and work back from there.

Unhappy employees are costly and businesses can’t afford to ignore the signs. A recent report from Deloitte found that in a world that is ‘less stable, more polarised, and more volatile’ people are looking for refuge and solidarity at work.

If you can provide an environment that offers stability, support and understanding, you’re 60% there on the happiness and engagement scale. To fill the remaining 40%, you need to help people find their purpose, feel included – and, most importantly, treat them fairly, particularly when it comes to money and salary.

Excluded employees means unprofitable businesses

A report by BetterUp found that people who feel included and that they belong are:

  • 75% less absent than employees who feel excluded – this equals to $2.5 million worth of lost productivity each year (per 10,000 people)
  • 50% less likely to leave than employees who feel included
  • 56% more likely to perform better – that’s a gain of $52 million each year (for every 10,000 people).

Inclusion and wellness are intertwined

The after-effects of exclusion can be both physical and psychological and that plays havoc with people’s overall wellness. Wellness and inclusion are closely intertwined. You can’t address one without the other.

Organisations attempting to champion inclusion will find it’s much more complex than simply work culture. For an individual to feel as though they belong, organisations should cater to all aspects in life, assessing when and where people could feel excluded. Then acknowledging each employee’s unique background, experiences and state of wellness, including physical, mental, social, and most importantly financial.

Financial security equals workplace stability

One sure way of developing workplace stability, trust and fairness is through an inclusive financial wellness programme. When it comes to money, access to support, skills and knowledge should be available to everyone, no matter who they are, or where they live.

Sadly, that’s not the case today: 91 million people in the US are considered ‘credit-challenged’ while it is 62.5% more likely for people of colour to be offered costlier financial options than their equally qualified white counterparts.

Without government intervention, the only way we can rebuild the system is through financial education and by helping as many people as possible to understand the best way to manage their money. This is at the heart of an inclusive financial wellness programme.

Inclusive financial wellness

An inclusive financial wellness programme needs to be impartial - that means employees shouldn’t be exposed to financial education that is littered with services and products with an ulterior motive. Secondly, the programme should be underpinned by technology designed for inclusion and developed from behavioural psychology.

Transparency, insights, and inclusion are the essential ingredients to successful employee engagement.

The main aim of an inclusive financial wellness programme is to ensure people are fully armed with all the information they need to make the best choices for them, and their circumstances, including awareness of all the employee benefits available to them.

That being said, on the flip side, there might be benefits that unconsciously discriminate through a lack of consideration for your diverse work forces.

For example, if you only launch a benefit that targets highest earners, but the majority of your people are just above living wage, you would be discriminating. Whereas, if you rolled out a benefit for low earners when most are high you wouldn’t be meeting needs. It works both ways.

Similarly, relationships with money change with culture. Benefits and communication could exclude people based on location.

Data is the key to getting around the challenges of rewarding a global workforce, and by understanding trends within these disparate financial needs and attitudes. Then allocating personalised benefit experiences that are communicated in a way that’s accessible to that audience.

In partnership with Nudge

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

Contact us today