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Monday, 30 October 2017 20:39

A Key 2017 Workplace Trend: Financial Wellness Programs

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Typically when we think of employer wellness programs, we think of things like biometric screenings and health risk assessments.  But recent research shows that financial worries are a top stressor in many Americans’ lives.  
At first glance, the financial problems of the workforce may seem of a personal nature and not a corporate one.  Employers might be wary of legal issues and privacy concerns.  However there is a compelling argument for employers to include financial health in their wellness programs:  employee financial woes are costing companies money. 

Financial stressors such as budgeting, rising debt, inadequate or nonexistent savings, and poor retirement planning are just some of the worries that could deliver a less present and productive employee to the workplace. Think about the employee who is worried about how they are going to make their next mortgage payment.  They are probably not capable of focusing solely on doing the best job they can.  The employee who lives paycheck to paycheck and is therefore unable to come up with the money to fix their car may not even be able to get to work.  An unplanned financial shock such as an unexpected illness can affect your employee greatly, rendering them unable to concentrate or be present at work.
PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that stressed employees are more likely to be distracted by their finances at work, miss work due to their personal financial issues, and cite health issues actually caused by financial stress.  The National Business Group on Health’s Employer-Sponsored Health and Well-Being Survey recently found that 84% of large and mid-sized companies surveyed now have some type of financial wellness program at the workplace. 82% say they are offering seminars and lunch-n-learn programs, 74% are offering tools for mortgages, wills, and income protection, and 71% are offering resources to support emergency savings, debt management and budgeting.  These programs are intended to help the financially struggling employee, which will therefore increase productivity and less absenteeism, but also build goodwill in the company and help retain great workers.
Some examples of financial programs an employer might consider are:
  • Seminars or financial planning workshops given by your 401(k) provider or other financial sources
  • Offer Life and Disability insurance to your employees, even if on a voluntary basis
  • Tap into your Disability carrier’s resources, as some offer free will preparation software
  • If you employ lower-income workers, consider a program such as WorkLife Partnership, which provides education and resources to financially struggling employees
In addition, one of our financial colleagues, Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP) offers a great financial wellness solution for employers.  They have paired with Peter Dunn, “Pete the Planner,” to deliver a program called Money School, which teaches the concepts of financial wellness.  The video-based program assesses current financial behavior and provides a “To Do” list to help them change behavior and improve their financial situation.  To get more information on Money School, please click here.
Another program to consider is You Define Wellness, which allows employees to use your wellness dollars on completely customized offerings, including financial coaching, based on what each individual most wants or needs.
There’s no doubt that financial wellness will continue to be a hot topic.  Find ways to enhance your employees’ financial health today, and let us know how Fall River can help!
Read 2169 times Last modified on Monday, 14 September 2020 16:26
Tonya Young

Tonya is our Senior Account Manager and brings eleven years of prior insurance company expertise to Fall River, having worked at Anthem Blue Cross and Great-West Healthcare (now part of CIGNA). Tonya holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Originally from Minnesota, she loves the Colorado outdoors and enjoys family time with her young daughter.