Keeping Your Employees Financially Fit

While more employers are helping their employees commit to healthier lifestyle choices through ongoing physical wellness programs like in-office yoga or gym reimbursements, many aren’t thinking about how they can keep their employees financially fit.

Research continues to show a connection between financial issues and stress, which often leads to employees who are less productive and spend work hours getting their finances in order. It’s not simply a lack of money that causes people stress, it’s the lack of knowledge or tools to solve the financial issues that they’re facing. While incentives are a good start, taking a holistic approach to financial wellness is a far more effective strategy.

Through ongoing incentives and engagement, as well as finding the most relevant benefits for employees, organizations can help employees get their financial lives into shape.

Why Employee Financial Fitness Matters. PWC reports find that nearly a third of employees bring personal stress into work. In many cases, this stress is financial in nature and affects both an employee’s health and productivity.

A separate study by risk management and insurance provider Towers Watson revealed that employers who focus on both health and financial wellness simultaneously saw reduced employee stress and boosts to productivity. By easing employee stress via added benefits or education, employers can reduce employee turnover rates and create a happier, healthier culture.

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Rewarding Learning and Engagement. Just like traditional wellness benefits that reward employees for exercising or participating in a company wellness program, employers should take the same approach to financial wellness programs.

Cash rewards or gift cards can sometimes give employees the incentive they need to think about their personal finances and make a positive change. For example, companies like SunTrust Bank are offering employees a match of up to $1,000 if they start an emergency fund to save for unexpected costs.

Benefits Beyond the 401(k). While the 401(k) has dominated the benefits landscape for decades, offering one no longer has the same impact it once had on hiring and on keeping employees financially fit.

401(k) programs are great for employees who are in a position to save and prepare for their long-term financial future, but for those employees who are looking to pay down student or personal debt, save for a wedding, or achieve other shorter-term financial goals, traditional financial incentives aren’t effective.

Employers should focus on offering a myriad of financial benefits to employees to target the different sources of their stress. For example, benefits like Gradifi help employers contribute to employees’ student loans to help them pay them down faster.

Hosting Webinars and Classes. Offering regular webinars and classes with both industry professionals and benefit providers gives direct access to professionals who can answer employees’ questions.

Recording these talks allows companies to repurpose content for employees to access when they have questions in the future. An internal content library of webinars and sessions lets employees find answers to frequently asked questions instead of going through HR. Making it easier to consume financial information and guidance makes it more likely employees will engage with their financial benefits.

While helping employees with their physical fitness is important, employers should also take into consideration how they can aid the fitness levels of their employees financially. Educating employees and assisting them with their finances at home will make them more productive and valuable in the workplace.

Chris Whitlow

Chris Whitlow
Chris Whitlow is the founder and CEO of Edukate, a workplace financial wellness provider.

Chris Whitlow

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One Response to “Keeping Your Employees Financially Fit”

  1. Financial fitness of employees are really important. It help them to be motivated to work and be dedicated. Giving your employees the right incentive would help them to do their best at their work.

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