Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is all the rage this year.  More companies are adding it to their wellness initiatives and it seems to be spotlighted in wellness news most days.

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.

But how do you offer this resource in a way that engages employees? Here are a few ways to get started:

  • If you have a limited budget, tap into what your existing 401k vendors can offer. Have them come onsite to help employees maximize what you already offer.
  • If you have a budget, invest in financial wellness companies that don’t upsell their plans or investments to your employees.
  • It’s all in how you marketing it. When I interviewed Dave Jacobson, financial coach, he made some key points around marketing. Don’t market it negatively, like “are you drowning in debt?”. As Dave said what you want is peace in your life, not a budget.
  • In addition to the traditional budgeting or planning for retirement classes, try topics like “maximizing your tax return” (or bonus if you give them) or “simple ways to pay down your student loans”. You can always survey your employees before hand to find out what they are interested in.
  • Consider offering financial coaching. Financial coaching is kinda like health coaching in that the coach can help identify barriers to their financial problems and help them create a plan to overcome them.
  • Include spouses in your offerings. Money is often a source of  relationship disagreements that can be an emotional and mental distraction at work.
  • In the first article linked below, they had the idea to start an employer sponsored savings account that works like 401k but they can access when needed.

The one “don’t” I want to emphasize is to make sure your financial wellness vendor is not selling additional products or services to your employees.

Helpful articles:

Why Workplace Financial Wellness Programs are Hot

List of Financial Wellness Vendors

2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey