Employees may think they should be able to figure out money and finances on their own. That reluctance can be overcome by emphasizing that even the most successful entrepreneurs have coaches, just like even the most successful athletes have coaches.
While everyone else is planning their physical fitness reboot for 2020, employers and HR professionals may be wondering how they can improve employees financial fitness. Those who already have a series of workshops on financial education or financial literacy, may be looking for new topics or approaches. Others who haven’t started yet, may wonder how to craft a program that hits the right notes: sailing between the buoys of too much information and patronizing happy talk might feel tricky. Here are four ways to tackle financial education for your company in 2020.
Call it what it is: Financial stress affects employee performance, company morale and workplace culture. This stress may have nothing to do with employee salaries. It’s so common that the American Psychological Association found that 72% of all adults report feeling stressed about money. Even mild chronic stress (such as a lingering worry about debt) can cause physical symptoms like headaches and frequent colds. Those physical symptoms can reduce employee productivity. Additionally, 20% of those surveyed reporting worry about finances said they missed work to deal with financially-related stress. But, even with these affects, industry research shows that only about half of all employers offered some kind of financial education program for employees. So prioritizing financial education to increase productivity and improve workplace culture may be the most important step. And the final point to drive home why a financial wellness program will help your company? “60% (of employees) said they would be more inclined to stay at a company that offered financial wellness solutions”.
Even the elites have coaches: As employers work on new benefit options, like student loan repayment assistance, they have found that employees need help with more than retirement planning. Some companies have engaged financial wellness coaches, like BrightDime, to help employees understand their money and plan a lifelong strategy. Employees may think they should be able to figure out money and finances on their own. That reluctance can be overcome by emphasizing that even the most successful entrepreneurs have coaches, just like even the most successful athletes have coaches.
Don’t Short the Immediate Needs: Most, if not all, of employees live paycheck to paycheck with less than $1000 in savings. While financial literacy programs about how to best use retirement and tax planning tools may be helpful in the long term, the source of employee stress may be more immediate. Some employee benefits advisors, as reported in this article, have started offering “low interest installment loans and credit that help employees avoid payday loans and cash advances from credit cards when they have emergency needs such as a broken refrigerator or unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses.” According to Nerd Wallet, some companies have been experimenting with options for employees who need earlier access to their income. “Earnin and PayActiv, have put a new twist on the two-week pay cycle to give people access to their wages as soon as they’ve earned them. Others, such as HoneyBee, SalaryFinance and TrueConnect, allow employers to offer low-cost emergency loans as an employee benefit.”
The Big Needs Should Drive Financial Wellness: Employees also need help with big life events, including buying a home, planning for a baby or helping their parents age. Some articles, like this one, suggest that employees may find help in the numbers from new trends in data. “Data analytics can also be used to build each employee a profile, which can then be supported by customized self-service tools to help employees get answers to specific questions and better plan for possible life changes.” This includes learning about life insurance products, which can be a major source of stress for new parents.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal