Why and How to Implement an Employee Financial Wellness Program
James Zahansky, AWMA®
Principal/Managing Partner, Investment Advisor & Chief Goals Strategist
It’s the start of a new year, when there’s a lot of focus on renewing commitments to health and wellness, and financial wellness should be part of that focus as well. If you’re a business owner or leader, it pays to help your employees with this aspect of wellness, too. Here’s why…
Over half of employees are stressed about their finances. As an employee, your career should be a source of financial relief and security—not worry. Ensuring that this rings true for your employees is important to both their satisfaction and performance. And that can strengthen your employee retention, something that’s especially critical in today’s tight labor market. That’s why 53 percent of companies have started to offer financial wellness programs. Here’s what that looks like and how to do it at your company.
What Is a Financial Wellness Program?
The name pretty much sums it up. Financial wellness programs are designed to alleviate the financial worries of your employees. They go beyond mere financial understanding; they promote a healthy relationship with money by offering the appropriate tools and guidance. It’s employee-centric education and application combined for better results.
How to Implement a Program
There’s no perfect financial wellness program; the best program for you depends on the nature of your business and the needs of your employees. A helpful first step is to determine what might be the most helpful for your particular team. For example, if you have employees that live paycheck to paycheck, learning about the tax benefits of maxing out their 401k contribution this year isn’t going to be relevant, but learning why and how to slowly increase their contributions over time certainly is. Conversely, if your business employees a good number of high earners with existing investments, they’d likey get more value out of learning strategies to maximize returns while minimizing taxes.
Whatever the focus, there are many ways you can go about providing a financial wellness program. You could use a platform specially designed for financial wellness programs, or you start small and customize a program in-house.
Here are some possible ways your company can start incorporating financial wellness into the workplace.
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Employees need the information first in order to apply it. Here are a few ways you can make financial literacy resources accessible.
- Lecture series: Offering a themed lecture series is informational and enjoyable for employees. People love to learn, especially when it comes to their money. Contact financial professionals well-versed in speaking and organize a series of lectures, webinars or workshops; possible themes include “investing basics” or “creating a budget.”
- Access to financial professionals: Although you’ll likely offer this resource less often, consider having your financial advisor host on-site consultations. Anyone can benefit from the guidance of a financial professional, and it’s a win-win for both your advisor and your employees.
- Distribute educational materials: This is an easy step that any small business can take. You can provide your employees with simple resources such as budgeting spreadsheets, helpful articles, or newsletters.
Going hand-in-hand with educational programs, these suggestions specifically encourage action. All of these initiatives are meant to offer a roadmap for employees to apply their newfound financial literacy, if they so choose.
- Partnerships with financial institutions. This is similar to but not to be confused with having your advisor offer on-site consultations, due to the fact that it offers a direct path for your employees to work with financial professionals. Creating a partnership will require some funding on your end, but benefit your employees and benefit you by centralizing your financial wellness program.
- Financial assistance. These programs directly assist employees with their finances. It’s up to you to determine if this is a viable option for your small business, but some businesses offer wellness stipends, discounts, student loan assistance or debt consolidation.
It’s useful for every business to have some form of a financial wellness program.
Being intentional about improving the financial health of your employees helps their productivity, performance and happiness overall. And that in turn will benefit your employee retention and bottom line.
Use these guidelines to start incorporating financial wellness resources into your employee benefits package, and partner with a financial advisor to help you deliver them. At Weiss, Hale and Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors we help business owners to achieve their financial goals through a strategic Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well process. Contact us to see how we can partner for the benefit of you, your employees, and your business.
Presented by Principal/Managing Partner James Zahansky, AWMA®. Prepared by an independent third party for Commonwealth Financial Network®, copyright 2021. 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 (http://www.whzwealth.com)