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It’s been estimated that 77% of workers view financial wellness benefits as an important part of a company’s employee wellness program.

This stat is, perhaps, a bit unsurprising given nearly half of Americans report feeling as though their finances are getting worse. 

Financial wellness is more than just a benefit, it’s a fundamental component of overall well-being. If you’re among the growing number of companies looking to implement financial wellness benefits for your employees, we’re here to help. 

In this article, we’ll explore how these programs work, their impact, and how you can successfully integrate them into your organization.

What Are Financial Wellness Benefits?

Financial wellness benefits typically include a range of services and resources designed to help employees manage their finances more effectively. 

They have gained popularity among other wellness trends because they give employees access to financial counseling, tools for budgeting and saving, retirement planning services, and workshops on financial literacy

The goal is to equip employees with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed financial decisions, leading to greater financial security and peace of mind.

Download our 2024 Workplace Trends Report to stay ahead in a transforming HR landscape. Get insights from leaders on trends that will define your strategies in AI, talent dynamics, and DEI.

Download our 2024 Workplace Trends Report to stay ahead in a transforming HR landscape. Get insights from leaders on trends that will define your strategies in AI, talent dynamics, and DEI.

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Impact Of Financial Wellness Benefits On Employees

Financial stress is a real concern that affects not only personal well-being but also work performance. Studies have shown that employees stressed about finances are less productive, more distracted, and often take time off work to handle financial crises.

In terms of performance, financial stress can impact employees in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Delayed retirements: When employees have to take time off, dip into savings or borrow against their assets, they tend to stop saving for retirement in the process.
  • Decreased productivity: The stress of a financial dilemma weighs heavy on the mind and causes people to struggle with performing at their best level.
  • Lower morale: Working 40 hours a week, or sometimes more, and still having financial issues can be disheartening and even lead to depression, absenteeism and mental health concerns.
  • Decreased job satisfaction: Feeling like you can't keep up with financial responsibilities is a recipe for looking for a new job. While employees may like their role and co-workers, job satisfaction is likely to be low if they can't maintain their finances.

Financial benefits programs have been shown to decrease these impacts on employees.

In fact, a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute revealed that 85% of the companies they studied showed that financial wellbeing initiatives have either a positive impact on employees mental, emotional and social wellbeing.

How Employers Gain From Offering Financial Wellness Benefits

Investing in your employees’ financial health has several benefits for you as an employer:

  • Recruitment and Retention: Attractive financial wellness programs can help you stand out as an employer of choice and retain top talent.
  • Employee Satisfaction and Loyalty: Employees who feel their financial needs are recognized and supported tend to be more committed to the organization.
  • Tax Advantages: Certain financial benefits may qualify for tax incentives, reducing the overall cost to your organization while maximizing employee benefit.
  • Lower Healthcare Costs: Finances are a contributor stress related health incidents. By helping employees control their finances, a study from the Society of Actuaries shows that employers save around 4.5% on healthcare costs.

Implementing Financial Wellness Programs In The Workplace

Ready to get started? Here are three steps and considerations for launching a financial wellness program:

  1. Assess Employee Needs: Conduct surveys or focus groups to understand the financial challenges and preferences of your workforce.
  2. Choose Appropriate Benefits: Select benefits that align with the identified needs of your employees, such as retirement planning services or emergency savings funds.
  3. Communicate Effectively: Ensure that all employees are aware of the available benefits and understand how to access them, whether it's through an employee wellness platform or some other avenue. Regular workshops and one-on-one counseling sessions can also be very effective.

Measuring The Success Of Financial Wellness Programs

To gauge the effectiveness of your financial wellness program, consider the examination of these metrics:

  • Employee Participation Rates: Looking at utilization rates for any benefit you offer will drive customization and relevance of the program.
  • Feedback and Satisfaction Surveys: What is the employee feedback? Are the programs meeting their needs?
  • Performance Metrics: Monitor changes in productivity and absenteeism rates pre- and post-implementation.

Continuously seek feedback and adjust the program as needed to meet employee needs better.

Financial wellness benefits are among those likely to evolve at a steady pace.

It's likely we'll see innovative trends like the incorporation of cryptocurrency options and more flexible saving accounts. Technology will play a crucial role in enhancing these benefits, making them more accessible and easier to manage.

Over the next decade, expect these programs to become more personalized and integrated with employees’ daily financial activities, providing real-time guidance and support.

Developing a financial wellness program will not fix a broken employee wellness program, but it is an addition that will entice employees to take start engaging with it more. When it comes to these important benefit offerings, engagement is half the battle.

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By David Rice

David Rice is a long time journalist and editor who specializes in covering human resources and leadership topics. His career has seen him focus on a variety of industries for both print and digital publications in the United States and UK.