Financial well-being at the workplace is just as important as health and fitness well-being. Curating a financial wellness plan for your employees can significantly impact your business.
A growing number of HR professionals across various industries are becoming aware of and engaged in discussions revolving around the financial well-being at their workplace. Financial wellness is one of the factors influencing employee retention rates. Finances happen to be a leading source of stress at workplace for the employees. When the HR team takes steps towards ensuring their employees feel satisfied and safe with the benefits offerings, it pays off in several ways including a rise in productivity.
Why is financial wellness at the workplace important?
It is a known fact that people are worried about their finances. Depending on the stage an employee is at in their professional life, they can be worried about either retirement plans, monthly expenses in general or repaying student loans. Neglecting these issues can significantly impact your bottom-line. The initial concern is the financial stress your employees face daily. If your employees are stressed about their financial well-being, there is a high possibility that they are less productive. It is also important to acknowledge the changing characteristics of the modern, millennial workforce. With a younger workforce, the financial needs and expectations are different.
Taking on additional financial burden such as student loans or assisting aging parents are issues of concern for young employees, over and above house payments and saving for retirement. Planning financial well-being activities at your workplace would require you to understand the demographic of your workforce.
How can you maintain financial wellness in your company?
Irrespective of the size or nature of your company, financial wellness has a tangible impact on your business. Here are some step that can be taken to develop a plan to that helps to tackle employee concerns about financial well-being.
- Holistic approach: You can view financial wellness programs just like other health and well-being programs; they are not only focused on helping the employees when they are sick but also work towards preventing the sickness in the first place through health checkups and fitness activities on a regular basis. Financial wellness should work in the same way. Generally, these programs must begin with engagement and examination of the existing pay and benefits records of the employees. You want to understand the employees’ goals in terms of the payments they wish to make. Providing financial education to the employees is also an important part of the holistic approach towards financial wellness.
- Understand the challenges: As mentioned earlier, the financial challenges of different employees vary based on the career stages they are at. You can begin by conducting a financial segmentation at the workplace, with each category within the segmentation reflecting different circumstances and challenges your employees face. Once you have a deeper understanding of their challenges, you can provide counselling, coaching and other help that employees may require. Personal finance might not be the most comfortable subject for everyone to discuss, so make sure you keep that in mind while developing and communicating the program benefits.
- Involve the professionals: Providing your employees access to financial professionals who can help them can add exponential value to the program. Many companies include free access for employees to a financial professional for the first few sessions, following which if the employees choose to continue, they can avail the services at a discount. This is a great option for employees struggling financially.
- Goals and tracking engagement: Just as it is with any other program or project, setting realistic and attainable goals is essential for success. The goals must be tangible and based on the results of the financial assessment of your workplace. If most of your employees struggle with maintaining a good credit score, the goal can be to have all the employees at a considerably good credit score by the end of the program. Another factor influencing the success of the program is engagement. You must track the progress and the engagement of the employees throughout the program as this enables you to solve issues as they arise. Adding rewards can also significantly encourage engagement.
A great financial wellness program can impact the employees in a significant way as it aids them to make better decisions and manage their finances overall. Financial well-being also impacts the employers as it contributes towards increased productivity and reduced employee turnover. Developing a comprehensive financial wellness program in your workplace requires time, research and persistence but pays off in more than one way.
Apart from productivity and employee retention, you will also notice an increase in loyalty and an improvement in the overall company culture.