Financial wellbeing is a key stressor in employees’ lives. According to MetLife’s 2021 Employee Benefit Trends Study, financial health is the single largest concern employees are facing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 56% of respondents placed financial health above mental, social, and physical health concerns. This kind of concern makes financial wellness not just a want, but a need, for employers seeking a resilient and engaged workforce.
What do the right financial wellness voluntary benefits look like?
Types of Programs
Financial wellness programs go beyond the basics of 401(k) retirement accounts and address every stage of an adult employee’s life, from paying off college, to saving for a house, to debt reduction and crisis management. Some common aspects of a well-rounded financial wellness program include:
- Early payment access and mobile wallets (which cut down on predatory loan company use)
- 529 accounts to allow caregivers to save for children’s college education
- Using PTO and other innovative ways to pay down student loan debt
- Retirement plan design beyond a savings account
- Financial assistance advisors
- Education and workflows designed to promote financial literacy
- Debt management and budgeting
Meeting Your Employees’ Needs
Not every workplace has the same financial wellness needs. Employee demographics could vary dramatically depending on your business type, size, or location, among other factors. Providing the right benefits could require some research, using surveys, focus groups, and some analysis of your workforce’s typical responsibilities and priorities by age group. Talking to your employees will also give you some idea of shortfalls in your current benefits offerings.
Adding a well-rounded financial wellness program has the potential to not just improve your employees’ lives, but cut down on stress, which in turn boosts productivity, and increase retention. Can your company afford to leave financial wellness off the table?