Financial stress ranks high among the daily stressors that American employees commonly face. In fact, the American Psychological Association cites financial stress as the number one stressor for American employees. A study showcased that 72 percent of Americans feel occasionally stressed about money and 22 percent are extremely stressed. Furthermore, data from CareerBuilder.com proved that 78 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck just to make ends meet.
While every individual employee is different and comprises unique financial challenges (both short-term and long-term) as well as varying financial goals, there is a dominant need for financial assistance within the corporate infrastructure. Forward-thinking companies realize the intrinsic value of providing a financial wellness program for their employees: they reduce stress levels that inevitably sacrifice work productivity and mental well being.
To ensure a higher return on investment, it is crucial to understand how significant financial wellness programs are to your company’s profile and how to begin to implement such strategies that create behavioral change for future company gains.
What is financial wellness? According to David Kilby, President of FinFit, financial wellness can be defined and conceptualized as the process by which an individual can efficiently and accurately assess their financial posture, identify personal goals, and be motivated to gain the necessary knowledge and resources to create behavioral change.
A 2017 study by Price Waterhouse Cooper indicated that 88 percent of employees seek personalized advice about their finances. 86 percent of employees eagerly take advantage of financial wellness services when provided by their employers. The number increases to 92 percent when it comes to Millennial employees, according to a 2017 Workplace Benefits Report.
As an employer, you are responsible for managing your company’s benefits and that means you are also expected to offer the best possible solution to your employees. The American Institute of Stress reports that workplace and financial stress costs U.S. businesses $300 billion each year, which translates into $1,685 per employee. It’s worth your while to understand how this number can be reduced and how you can ensure your company an improved return on investment.
According to a 2015 Workplace Benefits Report, the expected ROI of financial wellness services can be up to a 78 percent increase in employee satisfaction, a 70 percent increase in loyalty, a 68 percent increase in engagement, and a 57 percent increase in productivity.
So, with these figures in mind, what are the best steps to take in order to create the right customizable financial wellness program for your company? To achieve this engagement, incorporate these strategies for best results.
Make it Personal
By offering personal interaction, you are not only promoting sustained engagement but are also motivating them to improve their financial well-being. When you incorporate a fully-comprehensive program that addresses the diversity of your staff, you will foster improvements in employee health and quality of life, as well as increased productivity in the workplace.
Ask Key Questions Based on Your Company Profile
Here are some key introspective questions to ask, courtesy of Kilby. When you properly address key elements of financial wellness, then employees will begin to understand the importance when it comes to spending, saving, borrowing, and planning. These aspects are instrumental in shaping behavioral change that will enact healthy financial success.
Plan A Financial Wellness Introduction Day
Start by selecting a specific date and then invite employees for an open presentation and discussion to help them learn about the program. The incentive is to provide employees with enough interest and excitement about the benefits, that they enroll.
Provide Easy Access To Information
Easy access to all tools and interactive information – whether it’s articles, videos, or worksheets, etc. – is instrumental in maintaining engagement, and it will keep them motivated to stay on top of their fiscal goals.
Encourage All Forms Of Participation
Whether it’s passive participation in the form of online financial educational tools and webinars or more active participation, such as individual in-person counseling with a financial expert, encourage it all and remind them of the importance for optimal benefit.
Every employee will have different financial obstacles and dreams that they wish to achieve. Regardless of their individual short-term and long-term goals, the common denominator is that the best navigation begins with formulating a plan. With your help, once they’ve created a clear, focused plan, management and sustainment become that much easier. Soon enough, reaching those financial goals will not become a matter of “if”, but a matter of “when.”