Why Wellness Programs Need To Include A Financial Well-Being Strategy

Finances Cause Employees Stress

As more and more employers are beginning to focus on holistic wellness, they are uncovering the importance of financial well-being. A report conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 72% of adults feel stressed about money at least some of the time and 22% experience extreme financial stress. In addition, a recent Bankrate report revealed that only 39% of Americans would be able to cover an unplanned $1,000 expense. Worrying about finances and having a lack of financial security causes stress and anxiety that eventually follows employees into the workplace.

According to PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey, half of full-time American employees stress about their financial situation during work hours, which leads to decreased productivity and engagement. Not only that, but employees who are struggling financially are twice as likely to have health issues. In fact, 35% of working adults in the U.S. have cited health issues caused by financial stress. The conclusion of all this research is that employees cannot experience total well-being or be their best selves at work without being financially well.

Employees Need and Want Employer Support

It is a common misconception that it’s only the older generations that want financial planning benefits, but the truth is employees of all generations who feel stress from money issues are looking for help to improve their financial well-being. In a 2015 survey, published by Quantum Workplace and Limeade, almost 40% of employees under the age of 25 said they wanted their employer to provide financial planning benefits. The 2018 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits Report found that employees of all ages are wanting practical financial guidance that helps them focus on their financial well-being “one step at a time.” In addition, employees in the survey emphasized the desire for personalized advice from a financial professional.

Similarly, in the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) 2018 survey found that the in-person, one-on-one financial meetings were rated as the most effective financial well-being approach with the highest employee participation rates. These high participation rates further prove employees’ need and want for financial advice.

Including a Financial Well-Being Strategy

The first step of your financial well-being strategy should be to provide employees with financial wellness training and tools. This doesn’t mean simply offering 401(k) education. While that is very important to include, aim for a more comprehensive program that can be flexible and customizable, and also includes additional training, such as goal setting and debt management. This will help drive engagement and success.

For more information on building your financial well-being strategy, check out our previous article here!

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