Finances are personal. Financial challenges are often difficult for employees to discuss openly with their employer. So what does this mean for the financial wellness programs offered as benefits? Employers play a vital role in ensuring that the financial wellness program offers unique resources and solutions to each participant, tailored specifically to their needs, goals and current financial situation. In order for a financial wellness program to benefit everyone within an organization and help them make positive behavior change, it must recognize that each situation must be approached differently. The good news for employers – AI-powered fintech solutions remove the burden of tailoring the program to each employee.
Implement programs that work
At the height of the pandemic, when many employees had nowhere to turn, they turned to their employers for help. It was a turning point for the financial wellness industry. Many organizations had to face the reality that the financial support they had to offer was very limited.
As employers began to see the value of implementing financial wellness programs, many weren’t sure what the right solution looked like for their organization.
Here are the questions that every employer should ask themselves to ensure that they offer effective tools and solutions to support the financial journey of their employees:
- For those who have limited knowledge of their finances, how might they assess their personal financial situation?
- Is there a financial professional they can turn to for advice on how to cut their expenses?
- What money management resources are available to help employees adjust their budgets to account for pay cuts, missed bonus opportunities, and lost commissions?
- Can employees access an emergency savings account through their benefits?
- Are there educational tools or calculators to help employees determine what makes the most financial sense if they need to make adjustments?
- What tools are available to help employees who need to have the ability to control their cash flow to ensure that they can meet their financial obligations, such as paying their bills on time?
- Is there a better option for those who need more financial help but don’t want to take out a 401 (k) loan?
Most employers will have more than one of these questions to answer. This is where a holistic financial wellness program adds immense value, enabling individuals to identify where they are on their journey to financial wellness and identify solutions that will help them move forward. the way. A financial wellness program should provide direction on the most relevant resources, tools and solutions to improve their well-being, based on their unique financial situation.
Participants will be motivated and encouraged to continue on the path and invest their valuable time if they see positive changes. It is essential that the program helps individuals set goals; otherwise, there is no way to measure success and the individual may lose motivation.
By providing a comprehensive financial wellness solution and, more importantly, reminding employees of the resources they have available that can meet their current needs, employers are demonstrating their concern for the employee beyond the workplace. as well as their investment in the financial well-being of the employee. .
The financial learning curve
While not all employees feel comfortable asking their employer for help, luckily there are often clues that can prompt the employer to engage in supportive conversations. Some of these clues might include:
- 401 (k) loan applications
- Payday advance requests
- Decreased productivity and employee concentration
- Emerging pattern of tardiness or absenteeism
Conversations won’t be easy, but encouraging open dialogue gives employees confidence that the organization is looking out for their best interests, and not just their job performance.
So what’s the next step for employers and employees?
A holistic financial wellness program will not only provide resources and tools to support individual spending, saving, borrowing, and planning – the four pillars of financial wellness as defined by the Financial Health Network – but will also address their unique circumstances so that they see the ultimate return on investment and commitment to working to improve their financial well-being.
As we return to a more normal lifestyle, for employees and employers alike, making financial health and stability a priority will not only help organizations return to pre-pandemic productivity, but also outperform with better employee retention and more focused and engaged employees.
Dave kilby is CEO and President of FinFit.