Financial wellness programs support employees and make them feel valued
During the “Great Resignation,” employers have to be competitive if they want to attract employees. Leaders have to think about more than what they pay their employees. They also need to consider their employees' wellness – and financial well-being is particularly important to workers right now.
The majority of younger employees are feeling increased financial stress due to the pandemic, with 72% of millennials reporting it. Finances are the top cause of job stress. Employees want work to be a positive experience, and they want to feel as if their employers care about supporting them financially.
While perks are important, employees need financial support that will free them of economic struggles. With that in mind, this guide explores the ways you can support your employees' financial well-being.
1. Offer money management assistance
When employees are stressed about finances, they cannot focus at work. Intense stress can also compromise their health and psychological well-being. Unfortunately, many people lack financial literacy – you can earn a whole college degree without ever taking a money management class.
Help out your employees by offering money management guidance and debt counseling. Invite an expert to handle the training or hire someone who provides these types of programs for employees.
2. Pensions and retirement plans
Employees often feel like they'll have to work forever to survive, and they struggle to save on their own. Approximately 25% of all workers don't have a retirement account, and nearly 40% of people ages 18 to 29 haven't started saving yet. Help your employees save for the future by offering them a pension or setting up an employer retirement account.
Also, consider offering education around these options. Let your employees know how employer matches work in terms of return on investment. Talk with them about the value of compound interest and how it improves the growth of their money when they start saving at younger ages.
3. Emergency savings accounts
A large portion of employees are ill-prepared for short-term emergencies. 40% of Americans don't even have $300 in savings. If their car breaks down, their heater stops working, or their dog needs emergency surgery, they don't have the funds to pay for it.
Living in this reality can be constantly stressful, and when an emergency strikes, many Americans don't have the resources to deal with it. This often can result in employees dipping into their retirement savings or taking on more credit card debt, which we know has a much bigger impact in the long run.
An emergency savings account (ESA) is the perfect solution. An ESA takes money directly out of your employees' paychecks and sets it aside in a savings account that they can easily access if they have a short-term emergency.
To incentivize them, you can match their contributions or provide bonuses when they get to certain levels. These accounts have built-in accountability, helping employees to save more easily than they could on their own.
4. Encourage financial planning
As your workers improve their financial literacy, you may need to help them put their knowledge into action. Stress the importance of financial planning and encourage your employees to make long and short-term financial plans.
Show them what to consider when making financial plans. Consider providing them with checklists of planning essentials. Or even offer them free consultations with a financial planner.
5. Offer benefits that support work-life balance
A poor work-life balance can end up costing employees extra money. For instance, if they cannot easily take time off when their kid’s school or daycare is closed, they may incur additional childcare costs. If they aren't optimizing the employee health plan, they may be paying too much for health care.
Offer a benefits package that includes paid time off and flexible schedules, and educate your employees about your offerings.
6. Employee discount programs
You can register for loyalty and rewards programs that give your employees discounts at a variety of stores. This can be a fun perk for employees that helps them save.
When implementing this type of program, consider how to make your employees feel valued. Don't just offer them savings they'll never use. Instead, find out what is meaningful to them and hone in on those types of programs.
For instance, families with modest incomes may not ever use discounts to expensive restaurants, but they may greatly value a membership to a store that sells groceries in bulk at a discount. Other employees may have the opposite preference.
7. Provide stress management tools
Some financial stress is inevitable. But stress is always less damaging when you know how to deal with it. In addition to helping your workers with the material aspects of their financial well-being, help them with the emotional side.
Offer stress management workshops or provide memberships to apps that promote mental wellness. When employees are calm and less stressed, they tend to make smarter financial decisions.
The right mix of programs and benefits can help your employees feel supported. They will also help your employees improve their financial practices, which in turn will reduce their stress, lessen distractions, and improve productivity. By supporting your employees' financial well-being, you support the financial well-being of your entire organization.
Financial well-being for employees and organizations is our mission, and in pursuit of that goal, we offer purpose-built Emergency Savings Accounts (ESAs). SecureSave is a new type of workplace savings program, designed to help employees build and maintain an ESA, and to support them during unexpected financial hardships.
To learn more, contact us at SecureSave. An ESA is a high-impact, low-cost benefit that can improve the well-being of your team.