Written by Marlene Piche, SVP, Branch and Business Banking
When thinking about financial literacy, business owners often consider it a personal matter, especially when it comes to their employees. But businesses might want to think again, especially if they think of financial literacy for their employees as a matter of wellness.
As many businesses follow the wellness trend through health and social programs offered at work, they may be overlooking a common stressor for employees: money. In fact, the latest Financial Stress Survey from John Hancock Retirement found that more than half of employees worry about personal finances at work and that only 18% of employees feel very confident in their ability to make financial decisions. Again, as an employer, that may not mean much at first glance, but the survey also found that financial worries can impact employee productivity and job retention.
It’s these reasons why more businesses should consider offering financial literacy support as a part of their wellness or benefits offerings for employees.
Here’s how to get started:
Learn About Common Employee Stressors
Before diving into a financial wellness program, it’s a good idea to do a little research. Not only do you want to understand current economic trends, but how they can impact your business. According to research done by Edelman Financial Engines, some everyday financial stressors among employees today (especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic) include saving for retirement, building emergency savings, debt, and day to day budgeting.
As a result, according to Salary Finance, financial stress can result in employees having sleepless nights, suffering from anxiety or depression, or having poor relationships with colleagues. Plus, they are less likely to finish daily tasks and are more likely to generate lower work quality. Bottom line, by offering financial wellness at work, you could be helping your employee’s mental health and daily stress levels while having a positive impact on productivity at your business.
Audit Your Current Employee Benefits
Once you establish the goal of offering a financial wellness program at your business, your next step is to audit your current benefits package. Take a hard look at what you’re offering employees today and ask yourself: Does your provider already offer a financial wellness program that you’re not taking advantage of? Does it comprehensively cover common employee stressors? Do you have to look for a third-party offering? What are the overall costs associated with creating such a program?
And don’t forget to get an idea of what your employees are looking for as well. Consider sending out a survey, even an anonymous one, to ask about your current benefits package and ask if offering financial wellness is something they would be interested in.
Find a Financial Wellness Program That Works Best for You
There are many financial wellness programs out there, and while different programs will work for different businesses, there are a few key features to look for. While covering various critical financial topics, look for a program with an extensive library of educational articles, videos & webinars, and interactive calculators. A bonus would be a program that includes access to professionally trained financial counselors or coaches so that your employees can get help whenever they need it in a private setting.
Whatever program you choose, ensure you track your success by monitoring key performance and participation data and employee satisfaction surveys.
Finances are often considered a personal matter, but it’s something that could indirectly impact your employees and your business. It’s why offering a comprehensive financial wellness program as a part of your benefits package could be worth the investment. It’s basically a win-win and great way to promote financial literacy all year.
If you would like one of our trusted Union Savings Bank branch team members to meet with you to discuss how we can fit in to your financial literacy and wellness program, you can schedule an appointment by calling 866.872.1866 or book one online at unionsavings.com . For more small business insights, visit our Business Blog.