Offering your staff financial wellness activities is important because your employees’ financial well-being affects your company’s output. Nearly half of American full-time workers say they worry about personal financial stress at work. And 29% say they deal with personal financial issues on the job — often for two to three hours a week.
Why companies should offer financial wellness programs
A study by Willis Towers Watson found that, “organizations that address financial well-being can reap the competitive advantage of higher employee engagement, fewer absences and greater levels of productivity.” In fact, according to Workforce.com, employees actually welcome their employer’s involvement in helping them improve the state of their current and future financial fitness.
Need help launching a financial well-being program for your employees? Here are five ideas to help employees with their money, plus a free personal finance checklist to download and share with your team:
5 financial wellness activities to support employee financial well-being
1. Make sure your (tax-saving) benefits measure up
- Retirement Plans: In an era when companies are slashing benefits, differentiate yourself from your competition by considering a thoughtful 401(k) program — and if you’re in the position to do so, match their contributions to push them in. Make sure your employees (and potential recruits) know about the psychological and tax-saving benefits of 401(k) savings.
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): As more companies switch to high-deductible health plans tied to an HSA, consider contributing to employees’ accounts — enough to cover the deductible would be ideal. As with the 401(k), make sure employees know how an HSA works so that they can take advantage of the benefits like lowering their taxable income and ability to save for future health expenses.
- Invest in Tax Education: Offering your employees year-round education on 401(k) and HSAs is a great way to ensure they get the biggest benefit from your services. Service vendors will often provide an educational session around signup time, but recurring education can help those who missed that one session or any staff who have ongoing questions.
2. Offer first-person financial wellness training
According to Aon Hewitt, 23% of employers offer 1:1 meetings with financial consultants, which goes a long way toward helping employees with their money. If you’re not part of this 23%, start small and gauge interest by offering an on-site financial planning seminar on topics like budgeting, dollar-cost averaging, asset allocation and retirement planning.
Bringing in an IRS or tax expert periodically is also a great benefit for helping employees feel less afraid of tax time. Stress in tax season can be reduced with some periodical time with a tax expert.
3. Provide an employee discount program
A great way to help employees hang onto more cash is to offer negotiated discounts on car and home insurance, technology and even local attractions. Some companies take this a step further with a voluntary employee purchase program, which allows people to buy household items and educational services through payroll deduction. These financial wellness activities help employees take control of their finances by setting spending limits.
4. Incorporate financial well-being into your program
To improve overall well-being, it’s important to think beyond traditional fitness, nutrition, stress and sleep programs. Help employees get on the right track by offering financial challenges within your well-being or engagement program. Be sure to clearly outline what they need to do and reward employees for their actions. Here are a few financial well-being challenge ideas:
- Attend an on-site financial education seminar
- Learn about your company’s financial benefits (through a webinar, online resources or in-person meeting)
- Begin a debt cleanse
- Set a monthly savings goal
- Pack a healthy lunch
5. Build a meritocracy
Merit-based pay — salary, benefits, vacation, bonuses, etc., may be the best way to align your business goals with the financial goals of your top performers. Because we see a positive correlation between stress and productivity, your most productive people may need a stress-relieving vacation (absent any financial worries) the most. Build loyalty with your best people or pay a far greater price.
Free download: A personal finance checklist for your team
Download our Financial Health Checklist, a great resource to send to your employees or to hang in a public space. In simple terms, it outlines 10 things employees can do right now to be financially fit like canceling unused services, setting a monthly budget, establishing an emergency fund and more.