Employees Demand More Financial Wellness Benefits
Financial issues are the most common causes of stress among men and women. As employers are beginning to learn, financial wellness and health are very closely linked, which is why nine out of 10 medium and large companies are starting to add financial wellness programs to their list of employee benefits.
The advantages are clear: Financial wellness programs increase employee productivity, boost engagement, and improve physical and mental health and well-being. Much of an employee’s stress (or lack thereof) relates directly to their financial situation — if they’re plagued with personal financial issues, your business could be suffering.
Along with physical health, job satisfaction, emotional well-being, and social connectedness, financial well-being is one of the top five factors that employers can impact in a positive way. A surprising 75 percent of employees report that they value their companies as a trusted source for assistance when their employers are committed to employee financial wellness.
Employees Demand More Financial Benefits
Millennials are among the majority of workers who are demanding more financial benefits, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The younger generations grew up enjoying the economic prosperity of the 1990s but graduated from college in the depths of the Great Recession. During their adulthood, many have never had the guarantee of strong financial security.
Along with that, many of them are carrying the burden of large student loans. It’s understandable that millennials want as many resources as possible to help them navigate their path to a financially secure future, and eventually a comfortable retirement. The companies that can offer a strong financial foundation will be the ones who will benefit most from this pool of young talent.
But millennials are not alone in their demand for a greater range of financial benefits at work. Older employees (those 55 years and above) are also jumping on the bandwagon. As they head toward retirement, many with considerable debts, they are increasingly interested in benefits which can help them save for the years when they can no longer work.
Whatever industry you are in, it’s time to start deepening your understanding of your employees’ financial needs and putting a financial wellness program in place.
It can’t be over-emphasized just how important financial health is in the workplace. Financial stress quickly leads to poor health, loss of sleep, and frequent absenteeism — all of which ultimately cost employers money. Financial wellness programs can decrease your healthcare costs, reduce absenteeism, and boost worker productivity and morale. What kind of financial wellness incentives can you offer?
What Does a Financial Wellness Program Entail?
As we have seen, financial wellness is defined as freedom from debt, worry, and financial stress, as well as the freedom to make informed financial choices. The foundation of success in a wellness program is finding out your employees’ specific needs. That way you can meet them more easily. Bear in mind that each different workforce will have different needs arising, so it’s not a case of one model fits all. Here is a rundown on mandatory and optional financial wellness benefits.
- Minimum wage
- Family and medical leave
- Worker’s compensation
- Unemployment benefits
In addition to the benefits required by law, you can also offer others to improve your employees’ financial well-being. The benefits you offer will depend on your employees’ needs and the size of your workforce, and can include any combination of the following:
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Vision care
- Legal insurance
- Personal leave
- Sick leave
- Retirement plans
There are other discretionary financial benefits you can offer, such as health/fitness programs, dry cleaning services, meal vouchers, and employee loans.
Why Offer Employee Loan Solutions
Employee loans, such as those offered by TrueConnect, provide a safe alternative to payday loans and other predatory loan solutions at no cost to the employer. The TrueConnect solution provides employers with a means to help employees when they are faced with a financial emergency, such as:
- Sudden medical bills
- Home or car repair
- Rent/mortgage payments
- Death of a loved one
With a TrueConnect loan, employees can borrow money to make it through a financial emergency without having to go through a traditional credit check. Employees can repay the loan through easy payroll deductions. TrueConnect also provides all borrowers with free financial counseling so they can improve their financial literacy.
How to Successfully Implement Employee Benefits
There’s no time like the present to start implementing a financial wellness program for your employees. Here are some helpful steps to get started.
- Find out what your employees want. There’s really no point in offering financial benefits if they are not the perks your workers need. Talk to them and find out which ones they can benefit from most. Find out what financial advice they may need.
- Make sure all your employees are informed. It may sound obvious, but if some of your employees are not aware of the benefits available to them, your plan for a wellness program can quickly become derailed. Make sure you take the time to give out all the information your workers need to make the most of the program.
- Maintain up-to-date metrics. If all or part of your financial benefits program is not working, you need to know straight away, so you can make it right. Regular evaluations of the program show what is and what is not working. This can save you money in the long term.
- Talk to your legal advisors. Benefits laws are very complex. Discuss the details of your program with your legal team, particularly any tax implications. That way you’ll be certain that any new benefits will not have a negative impact on your employees’ paychecks.
- Make sure all your benefits are in alignment. When you introduce new benefits, it’s possible that they may have an impact on existing policies. This is not always a negative thing, but it’s something that you need to be aware of. You may need to update existing benefits as you add new ones.
- Establish a solid communications plan. Think about the best way not only to communicate the benefits you’re offering but also to get feedback from your employees. This will ensure that you’re keeping abreast of new developments and that employees are getting the most out of your financial wellness program. Enable different mediums of communication, such as in-person, email, and online forums.
- Consider appointing financial advisors. If you have no one on your team who is equipped to offer financial counseling, then consider bringing in a specialist from time to time. This will enable you to provide financial counseling sessions as and when needed.
- Implement a new user survey. One of the best ways to get feedback, both positive and negative, is to conduct an employee survey when you first introduce your financial wellness program. The survey can be completely anonymous, so you can count on employees expressing their opinions openly.
By offering financial wellness benefits, you are not only helping your employees meet their financial goals, but you’re also helping to optimize your company’s efficiency and ROI. Talk to TrueConnect today to see if you are eligible for their employee loan program.