EBLF Health+Benefits

Financial Wellness in Five Steps

Employees have never needed the financial support of employers more. Here’s how to help your clients.
By Chad Schneider Posted on May 31, 2022

There’s a lot of research to support that financial wellness programs effectively reduce the stress workers are feeling from their finances. Not only that, but financially-focused benefits have been shown to benefit companies as well. 

In fact, a study of a Fortune 100 company found that the introduction of a financial wellness program led to lower healthcare costs—specifically, a cost savings of $271.50 per employee. Improving employees’ financial wellness has also been found to decrease employee absenteeism, saving employers millions of dollars in unplanned absences. 

But just like with any other benefit, the approach is what makes the difference between an impactful program and one that flops. If you’re in the midst of helping your clients strategically plan their financial wellness offerings at their organizations, here are a few best practices to consider.

1

Assess the employees’ needs
The financial needs of employees are varied and complex. Offering a budgeting app that goes largely unused throughout the year misses the mark. Instead, collect quantitative feedback through a survey. Host focus groups and ask probing questions. Have one-on-one conversations with employees to understand what they’re struggling with. Your client can use these data points to invest in offerings that people will actually use.

2

Identify the company’s goals
But, of course, it’s not only about the needs of the employees. Your client has to think about what serves the company as well. Help them identify specific, measurable, and reasonable objectives that map to broader organizational objectives. This will make it easier for your client to track the right metrics and prove the ROI of their investment—whether that’s to improve employee retention rates or reduce the amount of financial stress the workforce is feeling. 

3

Choose the right offerings
Based on your client’s employee survey and goals, think about which offerings make the most sense for their program. For instance, if employees are craving personalized guidance to help them file taxes, understand stock options, buy a home, or save up for retirement, they may want one-on-one access to financial professionals.  

4

Craft a year-long communication plan
A common pitfall employers make is crafting a fantastic program, planning a thorough launch campaign, and then…crickets. Employees tend not to use benefits that aren’t top of mind for them. Creating a year-long communication plan, including webinars, multiple communication channels and other touch points, will go a long way in helping employees understand and utilize financial wellness offerings.

5

Get managers on board
Managers will ultimately set the tone around financial wellness at your client’s organization. They’re the ones who employees turn to with questions, which means they can play a huge role in how well-utilized their benefits are. 
 
Encourage your clients to invest in educating their managers about the financial wellness resources offered at the company. Provide training opportunities so they understand how to talk about finances with direct reports, and give them resources that outline exactly which benefits are available to employees. The more knowledgeable managers are about your financial wellness offering, the more likely workers are to sign up. 

Financial wellness has been big so far in 2022—and it will remain this way. It’s clear that employees have never needed the financial support of employers more, and companies are keen to keep their top talent from leaving for a better opportunity. Get the best results for your clients by keeping these best practices in mind as you help them design, craft, and launch their programs throughout the year. 

Chad Schneider is head of broker partnerships at Origin. 

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