Do you have a financial wellness strategy in place? If so, does your current financial wellness program change behaviors and support financial independence across the organization, while improving business performance?
If the answer to either of these questions is “no”… you should keep reading. We’re going to address the challenges of developing a financial wellness strategy, the challenges of getting buy-in from the organization, and how to overcome them.
Developing a Financial Wellness Strategy
As you probably already know, it’s difficult to develop a financial wellness strategy that meets the diverse needs of an entire workforce. A solid financial wellness program should help your employees build a regular savings habit to increase their financial resilience. You have to take into consideration the unique situation each of your employees may be in without necessarily knowing the specifics of that situation. This is important because there is significant variation in the types of benefits desired and needed across different groups. Financial education alone rarely breaks the top 10 of benefits desired, whereas personal financial guidance ranks highly across the board. Financial education is important but employees prefer to have one-on-one guidance, which can be an expensive option. This suggests that employers have to re-think whether and how to provide financial education to their employees. One way to assess the financial needs of your organization is to conduct a survey, using a tool like Salary Finance’s Financial Fitness Calculator. You’ll also be able to use this data later on to measure the impact of your financial wellness strategy and calculate the ROI.
How to Get Buy-in from the Organization
If you aren’t able to conduct your own survey or you need additional data to build your case, you can reference Salary Finance’s 2019 Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellness or PwC’s latest Employee Financial Wellness Survey. The findings from these surveys can help you develop a robust business case and financial wellness strategy that accounts for the various needs of your workforce. The Salary Finance research is based on a survey of 10,484 US employees which showed that 48% of employees have money worries and 34% of employees do not have any savings/live paycheck-to-paycheck. It also found that employees with money worries are 8.1 times more likely to have sleepless nights, 5.8 times more likely not to finish daily tasks, 4.3 times more likely to have troubled relationships with work colleagues, and 2.1 times more likely to be looking for a new job.
All of this together costs the average employer 11-14% of their total payroll expense. In other words, whether you’re keenly aware of it or not, many of your employees are financially stressed and that stress impacts your organization’s bottom line. You can leverage this data (plus your own) to show the need for financial wellness solutions in your workplace. It’s also worth mentioning that some benefits available, such as salary-linked loans and savings products, have minimal or no cost to the business.
Next Steps: Get Your Employees Engaged
To put your organization on the path to financial wellness, you need to start the conversation with employees — even if it might feel uncomfortable at first. Your employees will take notice and appreciate you for bringing awareness to the topic. We found that 68% of employees feel that their employers care about them and their wellness and 79% trust their employers to keep their personal financial information private from their colleagues and managers. That being said, employees are open to employers helping them improve their financial situation but it’s likely they won’t seek out the help until it is offered. It’s up to you to become the “Financial Wellness Champion” for your organization — you’ll be the one to improve productivity, retention, overall happiness and health of your employees, and the organization’s bottom line.
Ready to get started? Download your copy of the Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellness to further understand the impact poor financial health has on employees and the ways you can help.