Financial Wellness

Your Company's Next New Year's Resolution: Financial Wellness

As the year comes to a close, we often look for opportunities to change and grow by creating personal New Year’s resolutions. This year, it’s time to get your company motivated to do some goal setting too. One way your company can enhance their benefits offering and improve the quality of life for its employees is by incorporating financial wellness into its company values. Employees need more resources to help them manage their personal finances, and when employers step in to facilitate the learning process, they improve workplace productivity and stay competitive among other employers.

At Newfront, we see the goal of financial wellness programs as giving employees the insight and tools to empower their own financial decision-making. Financial wellness may seem like an imprecise term to ask of employers because there are many definitions floating around today, but many companies have already caught on to the financial wellness movement. In fact, according to a recent Prudential survey, 83% of employers are offering some kind financial wellness program already!

A survey by Price Waterhouse Cooper recently found that over half of today’s employees are stressed about their finances. As many of us know, it’s challenging to leave our worries behind when we step into the office every day. Financial anxiety affects the work that employees can deliver, and ultimately impacts a company’s bottom line. Financial Finesse ROI Special Report 2016 found that employees who struggled with their finances were more likely to show absenteeism, receive wage garnishment or take a hardship withdrawal from their 401k savings. There is a dollar cost to employers who overlook the financial struggles of their workforce, and now is the moment to make a change.

As I mentioned earlier, the objective of financial wellness programs is not to solve an individual’s financial problems for them, but instead to increase employee awareness and empower them to act. Companies in the United States are getting creative with their diverse workforce and budgets to give employees opportunities to develop their personal finance skills. Some companies focus on one key personal finance issue, like retirement readiness or improving credit scores to use as their vehicle for financial wellness. Other companies look towards adding new benefits to engage their employees.

Your company many not be ready to invest heavily into an integrated online platform or on-site financial counselors, but there are plenty of ways to start serving your employees’ financial wellness needs.

We’ve come up with a few quick, easy, and cost-effective ways to get your employees on the right track:

  • Help get your employees engage with current benefitsInvite providers to speak at lunch-and-learns or “office hours,” allowing employees to ask questions and learn about offerings they may not know exist.

  • Facilitate monthly emails with basic personal finance tips to encourage personal finance awareness. You can even start by collaborating with your People Operations team to look at current employee statistics to get a better sense of what your workforce needs or what interests them within the world of personal finance.

  • **Connect employees with free online tools. **The web is rich with retirement calculators, financial wellness video and personal finance phone apps to help employees navigate through any personal finance struggle they may be experiencing.

New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t just be for the individual. Companies can also resolve to improve by offering new benefits, education, or even just promoting free products that help with personal finance concerns. Coming to work free of money anxiety and stress is a goal that we can all set for ourselves, either on an individual or company-wide level. If you can get your company to bring a strong financial wellness culture to ring in 2019, you’ll help make this coming year more productive in the workplace and financially fruitful at home.

The Author
Emily Juarez
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