6 Steps to Empower Your Employees to Financial Wellness
Jim Zahansky, AWMA®
Principal/Managing Partner, Investment Advisor & Chief Investment Officer
In any business, employees are likely the greatest asset. Savvy and caring business owners and leaders understand the importance of ensuring employees are happy and satisfied. Not only does it help to keep productivity high, it keeps turnover low – something that’s especially important in today’s labor market, where competition for new hires is high. One way you can help address your employees’ happiness, thereby helping to retain them as part of your team, is to combat one of their biggest stressors: money.
According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, inflation is the number one cause of stress in Americans today.1 That’s not surprising but fortunately, helping your employees alleviate that and other financial stressors is within your power. Here are six ways you can empower your employees to find financial wellness to reduce stress, help them to live well, and help your business to thrive.
Step 1: Provide Financial Counseling
A survey of millennials found that only eight percent were able to prove they have a high level of financial knowledge, yet the majority of those surveyed did not seek professional financial help.2 As a business owner or leader, you’re in a position to help your employees close that knowledge gap. Consider hosting workshops on home buying, loan consolidation, car buying and any other major or relevant issues your employees face. Create safe spaces to talk in open forums and offer in-house or contracted financial counseling for your employees to utilize.
Step 2: Consider Student Loan Assistance
Fifty-eight percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 acquired debt to obtain their bachelor’s degree. That number jumps to 60 percent for those aged 30 to 44.3 With statistics like those, chances are there may be employees in your workforce that are currently paying down some student debt.
As an employer there are several ways to offer assistance, from providing student loan counseling to establishing a match contribution program. Additionally, some employers offer varying degrees of student loan assistance for employees who commit to working a certain number of years at that company. With outstanding loan debt hitting $1.57 trillion in America last quarter, employers are getting more involved than ever to offer loan relief and assistance where they can.4
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Step 3: Encourage Wellness
A great way to help employees combat stress is to promote physical well-being. If your office space allows it, consider offering an in-house fitness center or studio that employees can take advantage of before, during and after work. Or, provide gym membership reimbursements and other wellness benefits. By offering financial incentives like reimbursements, you can help your employees gain access to important wellness programs and amenities they otherwise may not be able to afford.
Step 4: Implement Employee Purchasing Programs
If your employees are looking to take a few courses at a local college or purchase a new computer for their home office, an employee purchasing program may be a beneficial option. While it typically puts little to no financial burden on your company, employee purchasing programs can allow an employee to purchase items through you and pay interest-free through paycheck deductions or other agreed-upon methods. These can help protect employees from other more costly alternatives, including loans or credit cards with high interest rates.
Step 5: Offer Healthcare Guidance
If you offer healthcare benefits, you’re already helping to empower your employees. But when possible, try taking your insurance offerings one step further by providing easy access and useful tools for employees. When possible, offer employees an intuitive smartphone app or webpage portal that can help them easily track and monitor their deductibles, claims and costs. This can help employees understand how much they should be setting aside for medical emergencies as well as what claims they’ve already made for the year.
Step 6: Mandate 401(k) Education
Again, offering a retirement plan option for employees is a great way to promote financial wellness. But if you aren’t educating your employees about their options or answering their questions, you could be keeping a significant number from participating. It should be a priority to make sure your employees are comfortable with their 401(k) or 403(b) options. Offer workshops, or work with your company’s financial advisor to offer ongoing education for employees.
If you don’t have a financial advisor or your current advisor isn’t providing this kind of holistic and comprehensive service, get in touch with our team at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors. We help business owners and executives to create a long-term strategy for financial success both in the workplace and for them personally, through our strategic Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well™ process. To see how we can help you and your business, contact us at (860) 928-2341 or email@example.com, or learn more at our website, whzwealth.com.
Presented by Principal/Managing Partner James Zahansky, AWMA®. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. These materials are general in nature and do not address your specific situation. For your specific investment needs, please discuss your individual circumstances with your representative. Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors does not provide tax or legal advice, and nothing in the accompanying pages should be construed as specific tax or legal advice. 697 Pomfret Street, Pomfret Center, CT 06259, 860-928-2341. http://www.whzwealth.com.