With only 46% of Americans having a rainy day fund (source: FINRA) and only 24% of millennials able to demonstrate basic financial literacy (source: NeFe), it is no wonder that more and more companies are integrating some form of a financial wellness program.
From the 2017 Employee Benefits survey report from Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), 49% of employers offer some form of financial advice (be it resource materials, online tools, assessments, group instruction, one-on-one advice] - a 21% increase from 2014.
Subpar financial outcomes based on a lack of knowledge can lead to physical and emotional stress which may manifest in lower productivity in the workplace. Employers making strides to build employee confidence in financial literacy tend to reap the benefits of higher engagement and retention rates. Elevating employee satisfaction can improve the employer brand by allowing employees to better comprehend their total rewards. While understanding and achieving financial wellness is a personalized journey, below are some helpful tips and action steps that employers can take when looking to integrate financial wellness as a resource for their organization:
Define what financial wellness means for your organization.
· Do you want to focus on a single area or a big picture?
Review current resources and offerings.
· You may already have resources available and in place that just need to be understood & communicated.
Align your goals and wellness tools with the culture and mission of your organization. A few questions to ask:
· Do you want in-person training? A centralized resource database? Bi-weekly webinars? A stipend to be utilized at the discretion of each employee?
Collaborate with your employees to understand what they need and are interested in, and keep this an ongoing discussion.
While financial literacy is an ongoing study, starting with the steps above, employers can be proactive in helping individuals become better equipped to make optimal financial decisions – leading to greater stability, productivity, and acumen in every aspect of their life.