This article was updated on Oct. 18, 2018.
Employee financial wellness programs focus on an employee's overall financial "health." In many ways, these types of programs are just as important as those aimed at curbing smoking or losing weight. After all, when employees are overly worried about paying for a child's college tuition or their ability to sustain themselves through retirement, it may have an impact on their health.
As CNBC reports, a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 64 percent of Americans consider money to be a "somewhat" or "very significant" source of stress. These types of trends indicate that there are plenty of reasons for businesses of all sizes to consider offering some type of guidance in this crucially important area of every employee's life.
Financial Wellness and the Bottom Line
In essence, a financial wellness program focuses on providing employees with greater in-depth knowledge to help reduce their chances of making poor financial choices, enabling them to change the way they handle money and plan for the future.
Here are three key ways in which employee financial wellness programs can impact your organization's bottom line:
1. Employees who are financially healthy may be less distracted by money problems and better able to focus on their jobs.
2. Employees who are offered assistance in financial planning and saving for the future may greatly appreciate assistance in this area. They're more likely to remain loyal to employers providing such a program, thus helping to reduce turnover in the long run.
3. Having a viable financial wellness program is often a highly attractive recruitment tool. This demonstrates to interested job applicants that an employer is genuinely concerned about the well-being of his or her employees.
Must-Haves for a Financial Wellness Program
If you want to offer a financial wellness program, keep these tips in mind:
- Find Out What's Most Important to Your Employees
Conduct a survey so that your team can indicate where they most want or need assistance, from choosing long-term care or life insurance to investment and retirement planning.
- Make Materials as Clear as Possible
There's no escaping some of the "fine print" that's involved in financial planning, but you do your employees a great service when you insist that companies offering financial wellness programs provide materials that are clearly written and as free of inside jargon as possible.
- Make the Program Readily Available
In TheStreet, Dan Iannicola, founder of The Financial Literacy Group, recommends that you make your financial wellness program available to employees while they are on the job, not during their lunch break. Also, he argues that you should avoid any semblance of a sales pitch for financial services or products. The objective here is sharing information, not selling to employees.
A Win-Win Solution
Providing a financial wellness program isn't just about helping individual employees, notes Scott Spann at Forbes. "Companies have a vested interest in promoting financial wellness initiatives because financial wellness is also linked to higher worker productivity, reduced absenteeism on the job, and reduced health care costs."
Many Americans feel like they are in crisis mode when it comes to their personal finances. As a responsible employer, you can help ease these concerns and benefit from the peace of mind that follows.