How Important is Employee Financial Wellness?

employee financial wellness

“Can I afford to retire?” “What happens to me if I get sick and can’t work?”  “How can I afford for my kids to go to university?”  “Where do I go to get a financial plan for my future?”  “What will happen if I die and don’t have a will?”  “Where do I start to get myself out of debt?”  If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions before, chances are your employees are asking themselves these same questions.  Employee Financial Wellness is important and it may help you retain and build a loyal workforce as well.  It’s important to understand that these are things keeping your employees awake at night.

Whether you are a business owner, a manager, an HR professional or whether you’re interested in taking your business and your employees to the next level, employee financial wellness better be on your radar.

The recently-released eighth annual Employer-Sponsored Health and Well-Being Survey from the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments found that 84% of 141 large- and mid-sized companies surveyed now have financial wellness programs, up from 76% a year ago.

It’s hard to say precisely what’s spurring the interest, but a myriad of factors are pushing employers to pay attention. For starters, numerous surveys have trumpeted the bad news blues about employee money angst.

For example, PwC’s 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey of 1,600 full-time employed adults said that 53% of employees are stressed about their finances. Those who are stressed are more likely to be distracted by their finances at work, miss work due to their personal financial issues and cite health issues caused by financial stress.

And a new Paychex survey of 1,000 full-time employees discovered that most felt the most important job incentive was regular bonuses — that ranked higher than paid vacation and health insurance. 1.

Ideally, employers want employees to get to that place where they are facing fewer financial distractions; employers will ultimately benefit by having a more focused, engaged, productive and motivated workforce.  Finding balance and having control over one’s finances becomes a byproduct of employee financial programs.  This can result in less absenteeism, greater employee retention, greater satisfaction and create ambassadors for their employer brand.

Mercer’s approach to employee financial wellness focuses on engaging employees throughout their lives, not just at retirement. The objective is to help employees reach their goals for every stage of their “financial lives,” whether it’s saving for a house, a car, college, or retirement.

The Link Between Financial Wellness and Business

Organizations have every reason to want their employees to be financially sound. An effectively designed employee financial wellness program can help employers:

  • Bolster productivity, because employees aren’t distracted by financial worries.
  • Drive more predictable workforce flow throughout the organization.
  • Increase employee engagement and retention.
  • Create more affordable retirement opportunities for all employees and enable career advancement opportunities for younger employees. 2.

Ideas to Promote Financial Wellness in the Workplace

  • provide a confidential financial wellness survey within your company
  • promote seminars on a variety of financial wellness topics
  • provide access to professionals who can assist with a variety of financial issues (ie. debt consolidation, insurance advisors, financial planners, retirement specialists, estate planners etc)
  • provide a library of reading/audio materials on a variety of financial topics
  • have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that employees can access confidential counseling
  • set up a Financial Wellness committee
  • If you’re a sponsor and have a Group Pension, Group RRSP or DPSP, you require education to your employees to remain CAP compliant.

Whether your company offers its employees a Group Pension, Group RRSP,  DPSP plan or not, the important aspect is to acknowledge that your employees have financial issues that keep them up at night.  Ignoring that these things exist will inevitably lead to greater absenteeism, distracted and unmotivated workers that will have a negative impact on productivity.

Employee financial wellness will represent an opportunity to propel your company and your employees to the next level.

 

Chris Coulter is the Founder and President of The Finish Line Group.  He works with business owners to leverage their businesses to increase their wealth, reduce corporate and personal taxes, create viable succession strategies, enable employee retention strategies and allow them to exit their businesses on their terms.

Chris’ passion for what he does evolved from the mistakes he made in his first business; by not diversifying his risk and not utilizing a lot of the opportunities within his business to create significant wealth.  Chris found out the difficult way and now educates business owners on how to avoid many of his former oversights and ultimately control where their finish line ends.

 

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/05/18/why-workplace-financial-wellness-programs-are-hot/#3a96938313f8
  2. https://www.mercer.ca/en/what-we-do/wealth-and-investments/employee-financial-wellness.html

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