The Need For Financial Wellness
Financial stress not only affects employees’ home life but also their professional life. It can lead to poor engagement levels, reduced productivity, fatigue, and even long term health issues. That is why it is so important to address financial wellness and consider incorporating a financial wellness program. Corporate Insight’s 2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that 53% of employees who did not have access to a financial wellness plan wished their employer would offer one. In addition, the 2018 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits Report found that employees of all ages express a need for practical financial guidance that helps them focus on their financial well-being goals.
Where To Start
Once you have decided to incorporate a financial wellness program, the next step is finding the right vendor for your organization. When you first begin researching available vendors, do not get overwhelmed and make a hasty decision. It is important to take your time, reflect on what exactly your employees need, and ask the right questions before moving forward.
3 Important Questions To Ask
Liz Davidson is CEO and Founder of Financial Finesse, a Los Angeles based firm that provides unbiased financial guidance through workplace financial wellness solutions. She has twenty years of experience in the financial wellness business and after years of collaborating with companies, actuarial consulting firms, and industry thought-leaders, she recommends asking potential financial wellness vendors these three questions:
1.) “What is your business model?” Make sure to get all the details on how the firm makes money, including any financial arrangements with financial services companies. You also want to make sure you find out if the firm is owned in part or in whole by a financial services company. Liz explains that this is crucial. You don’t want your employees used as a sales channel and pressured into buying insurance, annuities, mutual funds, or any other products and services from companies associated with the firm.
2.) “Who will be working with my employees and how are they compensated?” To provide your employees with the best financial wellness program, you want a vendor that employs CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals as full-time financial coaches. In her article, Liz explains two major red flags to always avoid. First, do not go with a firm that outsources a “network of financial planners,” because they usually have a huge conflict of interest. Second, be cautious of firms that hire recent college graduates who have only gone through “financial boot camp.” Liz clarifies that financial wellness requires in-depth experience across the full spectrum of financial planning.
3.) How do your financial wellness programs improve employees’ financial lives? Ask for case studies and if possible, ask them to provide you with data showing how their financial wellness programs have impacted employers’ bottom lines. Before moving forward with a vendor, you want to make sure your investment will have a positive outcome for your employees.
For more information on this topic, check out Liz Davidson’s original article on Forbes.