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Six steps for implementing a financial wellness program

Our practical guide, How to implement a financial wellness program, outlines the six steps employers can take to successfully develop and implement a financial wellness strategy that’s right for their organization.

 

Financial wellness is more crucial now than ever before

 

Although financial wellness is still a relatively new area when it comes to employee benefits, even before the COVID-19 pandemic over 50% of businesses said they understand they have a role to play in helping their employees be financially healthy. That percentage is set to exceed over 70% over the next few years (The State of Employee Financial Wellbeing, HR Zone, 2019), and has surely been accelerated by recent events.

 

And it’s needed: research into financial wellness of US employees paints a shocking picture. Our report released earlier this year, Inside the Wallets of Working Americans, found that, even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 42% of employees were regularly stressed about their finances. This is more than any other area of life, including our jobs careers (31%), health (29%), and relationships (27%).

 

The recent spike in unemployment across the country due to COVID-19 clearly has an outsized effect on widespread financial stress, but even those employees who are still employed and getting a paycheck may have spouses or family members they support who have lost their jobs or income. Because of this, many more HR leaders are beginning to recognize the importance of having financial benefits in place for all employees – regardless of previous circumstances. The challenge has moved from ‘Do we really need financial wellness benefits?’ to ‘How do I make this happen?

 

We’ve surveyed over 12,000 US employees and talked to hundreds of organizations across the US and UK. They face many of the same challenges irrespective of size and the industry that they belong to. Some of the questions we have been asked include:

 

  • I want to focus on financial wellness, but I am also juggling many other priorities. How can I convince senior leadership to make this a business priority?
  • How do I find out who needs help and what type of help should we be providing?
  • How do I get my people to be more open with talking about money across the organization?
  • How can I effectively communicate our benefits offering to ensure everyone knows about it?
  • How can I measure whether our financial wellness program is effective?

 

How can employers prioritize financial wellness?

 

In response to these questions, we have developed six steps you can follow to address these challenges.

 

  1. Know your workforce
  2. Build a robust business case
  3. Enable culture change
  4. Focus on progress, not perfection
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
  6. Measure the impact

Our toolkit, How to implement a financial wellness program, breaks down each of these steps in detail and provides a framework for developing a financial wellness program, or improving what you already have in place.

 

Interested in implementing a financial wellness program?

 

Although there is no silver bullet for devising and implementing an effective financial wellness program, creating one doesn’t have to be as complex and daunting as it might seem. The key is to not worry about doing everything at once — start small, measure your success, and progress from there.

 

Download your copy of How to implement a financial wellness program: Six practical steps

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