Approximately 20% of employees responding to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey say they would wait for a financial crisis before seeking guidance. They may be reluctant to access support — professional assistance or educational programming — for several reasons:
- Feeling embarrassed about not knowing more or intimidated by the topic’s scope and complexity
- Relying on a significant other’s knowledge as a crutch
- Believing personal finance isn’t relevant to them because they don’t have savings
- Experiencing stigma about financial circumstances.
Elements of Program Excellence
With foundational employee well-being elements — like solid compensation and benefits — in place, employers turn to vendors for financial well-being programs. So many self-proclaimed “solution providers” have entered the market, however, that purchasers are hard-pressed to sort the good from the bad.
To deliver an effective option, consider the following attributes highlighted in Employee Financial Well-Being Pays Dividends for Employers:
- Simple and appealing
The best will:
- Offer vetted resources for participants who want to explore further
- Never promote commercial financial services and products
- Feature interactive prompts that spark new behaviors.
They advance participants along a continuum:
- Curious, realizing there’s much to learn and that they’ll benefit from new information
- Educated, informed about personal finance and able to synthesize lessons into individualized action plans
- Empowered, having the self-efficacy to make the decisions and take necessary steps
- Activated, creating and executing their plan toward financial security.
To encompass diverse needs, programs should allow them to delve — as deeply as they wish — into a comprehensive selection of subjects including priorities like starting an emergency fund; paying off debt; and saving for vacations and retirement. But they shouldn’t stop there — other essentials include:
- Budgeting and goal setting
- Buying a vehicle
- Financing for college
- Credit and debt
- Estate planning
- Choosing financial advisers
- Happiness and money
- Health insurance
- Housing: buy or rent?
- Income taxes
- Insurance: home, auto, life
- Major purchases
- Making extra money
A program that meets the above criteria for program excellence should be a cornerstone of your organization’s financial well-being strategy. Advantages will include greater security for employees — plus the far-reaching effects on productivity, mental health, and DEI that go along with it.
Chief collaborator, nudger, tinkerer; leads the most inventive team creating well-being and sustainable living programs. Reach out if you’d like to talk about employee well-being, emotional fitness, or eco-friendly living.