How to Create a Successful Financial Wellness Program

“Financial wellness” is the buzzword of 2023 in the HR space. More employees are asking their employers to offer financial wellness support. In fact, 80 percent of employees think that their employers should support financial wellness, while 62 percent of employers feel like they need to offer support to their employees. The simplest way to do this is to build a financial wellness program that benefits both the company and the employees. 

Benefits of a financial wellness program 

According to survey data from PlanSponsor’s 2022 Participant Survey, 46 percent of employees said their employer offers a financial wellness/literacy program, while 13 percent don’t know whether their employer offers this kind of benefit. 

Financial training and support are low investment, high output benefits, and when combined with financial wellness products (FSAs, investment options, retirement contributions, etc.), create more stability and peace of mind for employees. A recent survey from TalentLMS found that 96 percent of employees found their employer’s financial literacy or wellness program to be somewhat, very, or extremely helpful in improving their financial status and reducing financial stress. 

Companies see several benefits from implementing a financial wellness program, including:

  • Improved job satisfaction
  • Higher retention 
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase employee productivity and performance 
  • Higher engagement 

Additionally, 68 percent of employees state that they are more likely to stay at their current job if their employer offers financial wellness benefits, and 61 percent are more likely to stay at an employer if they provide financial training and resources. 

What a good financial wellness program looks like 

Financial wellness programs can take several forms:

  • Digital content and resources
  • Employer-hosted training and seminars
  • One-on-one guidance from a financial expert
  • Financial benefits offered to employees (401(k) matching, reimbursements, etc.)
  • Benefits offered to employees (401(k) matching contributions, life planning account reimbursements, student loan repayment, emergency savings, etc.)

Here are a few examples of seminars or resources you can offer:

  • A seminar on banking and investing, where a financial expert shares information on different accounts, fees, credit scores, etc.
  • A pamphlet with clear explanations of retirement plan options
  • One-on-one consultations with financial planners for personalized advice and recommendations
  • Tools and calculators to help determine when to begin collecting Social Security benefits
  • Access to digital financial wellness programs to track finances and overall financial goals

The crux of a good financial wellness program is how well it’s communicated to your employees. Prompt them to look at the information and take advantage of the benefits through communications over Slack, Teams, email, webinars, mailers, etc. Your employees are already inundated with so much company information, so you can’t expect them to remember all the financial wellness benefits they can access. 

A financial wellness program isn’t just seminars and resources; it can be financial wellness benefits too. Check out this blog post for 7 financial wellness benefits you can offer your employees. 

Assessing your financial wellness program 

A financial wellness program can be tricky to track, as some benefits, like productivity and job satisfaction, take time to measure. Consider these tangible metrics to measure your financial wellness program's immediate impact and ROI.

  • Use and engagement: Check out how many employees have signed up for your financial wellness benefits, completed tutorials and training, and taken advantage of other related activities. 
  • Positive benefits and payroll data: Look to see if you have an uptick in employees electing 401(k) matching or health savings account (HSA) enrollments. 
  • Fewer financial hardships: Tap your payroll and retirement plan data for any downward trends in loan defaults, 401(k) loans, and the number of emergency or payday loans.
  • Absenteeism, productivity, and healthcare costs: Track absenteeism and data on disability, workers' compensation claims, and other stress-related health claims.\
  • Employee feedback: Survey your employees, asking them for feedback on the training, resources, and benefits you're offering.

Starting a financial wellness program 

If you’re looking to implement a financial wellness program, here are a few things to consider:

  • Gather demographic data on your workforce and survey them to figure out what financial wellness benefits they would leverage the most 
  • Create a personalized financial wellness program to meet the needs of each generation in your workforce
  • Develop a strong communication strategy to share information with employees and put all of the information in one centralized location for access
  • Financial wellness is just one part of a broad-based well-being strategy, so consider expanding your programs to help support other areas like social, emotional, and physical wellbeing 
  • Provide the latest tools and support, such as financial literacy, coaching, and mentoring 
  • Be flexible with your program and change it as economic conditions and employee demands change

Remember, the best financial wellness programs are the ones that give your benefits the support they need. Consider offering flexible benefits with the PTO Exchange platform to address your employees’ top financial concerns. Learn more about the platform and request a demo today.

Learn more about how you keep your employees financially healthy in our new guide.

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Published on Feb 02, 2023 by Rob Whalen

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