Why Should Employers Encourage Participation in Employee Financial Wellness Programs?

Right now, there is plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that many Americans are not financially secure. A recent article by Leaders Edge found that the COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse, with 52% of people surveyed in April saying they would need to tap into long-term savings in a year or less. For employers, there are many reasons why you should care about employee financial security. Providing educational resources and better understanding of factors that impact financial wellness are frequently becoming a goal of many employers, benefiting the workforce beyond monetary value by:

  1. Increasing employee satisfaction
  2. Cutting down on employee financial stress
  3. Improving employee productivity
  4. Lowering employee healthcare costs
  5. Reducing employee absenteeism
  6. Improving employee retention

Back in 2019, we wrote about the importance of financial wellness and provided tips for financial wellness education. Today, the number of employers offering financial wellness programs is increasing. According to a Bank of America survey, the percentage of employers offering financial wellness programs increased from 24% in 2015 to 53% in 2019.

Creating a strong financial wellness strategy starts with assessing your current benefits offerings and surveying employees to find out where and how they are struggling. From there, organizations can match available benefits and resources to needs. As with any initiative, communication is key! Showcase to your employees how various benefits – from retirement to voluntary coverages, can work together to help employees increase their overall financial wellness. These days, with an increasingly remote workforce, clear and consistence communication about employee benefits is key.

Additional resources that employers can offer to support financial wellness include:

  • Hold a virtual class on budgeting basics. If the class is offered live, include a Q&A or give employees an opportunity to ask questions in advance. If possible, offer the recording on-demand for any employees who are unable to make the virtual class.
  • Offer access to financial planners through your existing resources; retirement plan administrator or employee assistance program (EAP).  There are also a number of community resources, such as credit unions, who are happy to present to your employees as well.
  • Distribute virtual worksheets to help employees plan for their savings goals and make sure that employees know where and how to access these sheets online.
  • Provide access to debt calculator tools.

Employers might also consider offering rewards and incentives to help encourage participation in financial wellness, like other wellness-related programs.

If you are interested in learning more about financial wellness education for your employees, please contact the Employee Benefits Management Group (EBMG) at Rose & Kiernan, Inc. here or by calling (800) 242-4433.

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