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Educating Your Employees on Financial Wellness: Beyond the Paycheck

01/10/2024 Written by: AP Employee Benefits

As employees continue to evaluate their post-pandemic financial outlook, many are looking to their employers for additional support. According to a recent report, as many as 38% of Americans currently in the workforce have changed jobs during the 'Great Resignation,’ with 32% of those doing so for better pay, indicating that many employees are evaluating their financial position in their current roles. As financial pressure continues to outrank other reasons employees look to change roles such as relocation, advancement, and remote or hybrid opportunities, many organizations are looking for ways to support their employees' financial goals beyond their paychecks.

Financial Pressure on Employees

Economic pressures such as inflation and higher interest rates have impacted how far an employee’s dollar goes. Employees have started looking to their employers for education and support on topics such as debt reduction, budget planning estate management, and the importance of an emergency savings account. According to the Financial Wellbeing Employer Survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute, the increasing cost of living is the number one financial concern among employees. For many HR teams, employee financial wellness is becoming a much larger piece of the puzzle.

Developing and Implementing Your Program

There are operational considerations that will take place before pushing out a robust financial wellness program. HR teams need to ensure executive levels are supportive of the program and understand its value to their organization. Teams will next need to create a curriculum and guiding materials for their employees to follow. This step often includes the creation of brochures, guides, or resource centers where employees can access finance-specific resources. Finally, a communication rollout plan will be needed to explain the new resources available to employees. This can be an introductory video or webinar explaining the goals of the program and serves as an introduction to the material.

When developing a financial wellness program, here are a few questions to ask to get the conversation started within your executive teams:

  • What is the overall goal of the program? How detailed or robust should the program be? What does the future timeline of the program look like?
    • Is your organization looking to provide additional financial resources to support their employees' financial goals (i.e. 401(k) or student loan contributions), or does the organization want to provide an actionable program where the employees learn how to adjust behaviors to better support their goals (i.e. budgeting tools)?
  • What aspects of financial wellness does the program want to highlight?
    • Consider employees at all stages of life:
      • Retirement Planning Assistance
      • Student Loan Repayment Assistance
      • Dependent College Savings Resources
    • Meet employees where they are: what financial challenges take up most of their time?
      • Debt Management and Reduction Support
      • Homebuying Support
    • Provide additional, easy-to-administer and low-cost programs
      • Emergency Savings and Assistance Programs
      • Employee Discount Programs
  • How will we communicate the new resources available to employees? What does the material look like?
    • This can include educational workshops or webinars, internal newsletters, or internal resource centers
  • How will we measure the success of the program?
    • Determine what KPIs you will track on a regular basis – i.e. clicks, engagement, and/or utilization
    • Consider deploying annual benefits surveys to gauge overall employee satisfaction.

Implementing a financial wellness program can be a large undertaking for an organization; however, it communicates the organization is invested in its employees' overall wellness and wants to support them in the journey to meet their goals. Your local AssuredPartners team can help as you look to develop and implement financial wellness resources – reach out to them today to discuss what options may be a good fit for your organization.

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