This is a guest post by Ian Heslip of Dominion Systems
Workplace benefits are more extensive than they used to be. It’s not enough to throw out a standard retirement plan and health insurance and call it a day. Millennials, now the generation making up the largest percentage of the workforce in America, are driving the need for comprehensive and diverse benefits.
One of the most popular fringe benefits is financial wellness education programs. After all, the best way to retain top employees is to educate them!
What are financial wellness programs?
Financial wellness programs are designed to promote employee learning and literacy, with the ultimate goal of improving their financial well-being. Typically, these learning opportunities target retirement options and plans, as well as how to manage money.
It’s a growing need according to Kent Allison of PWC: “Retirement plan funds have become a safety valve for many who don’t have money set aside for an emergency or unexpected expense. […] It is our continued belief that it will take a combination of strategic plan redesign, along with an increased focus on promoting healthier employee financial behaviors, to solve the issue.”
What are the benefits to employers?
Employers may be hesitant to spend the time and resources devoted to improving financial education opportunities. But if they’re will to spend time onboarding and benefiting talented people, it makes sense to keep them happy. Plus, they may quickly see a better ROI than they think.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, employers across all industries have seen the impact of reduced productivity, turnover, downsizing, and absenteeism that accompanies financial stress. Educational opportunities give employers the chance to manage anxiety surrounding financial uncertainty and the ability to refocus employees.
"...it’s best to start by identifying the wants and needs of your workplace demographic."
How should employers implement financial wellness programs?
The first step of implementing financial wellness programs is determining what your employees want and need. Accurately meeting these needs will ensure the most success from the programs. Every workplace will have different financial goals, situations, and curiosities that determine the specific programs you should start.
No matter what program you launch to improve employee financial literacy, they should be strategic in nature and focused on overall healthier spending and saving behaviors.
Who wants financial wellness education?
As mentioned above, younger generations are leading the charge for more financial education in the workforce. This is partly due to coming of age in the prosperity of the 90’s and entering the workforce during the worst financial collapse in decades.
Therefore it’s no surprise that they want to be insulated from future economic disasters. Companies who offer financial learning opportunities then have the edge when it comes to recruiting and retaining top millennial talent.
Not to be outdone by their younger counterparts, older members of the workforce are also very interested in improving their financial education. They’re close to retiring and may also need assistance paying for aging parents and health care.
If you’re considering financial wellness programs, it’s best to start by identifying the wants and needs of your workplace demographic. Because no matter their curiosities, nearly everyone can benefit from higher financial literacy.
Ian Heslip is the Inbound Marketing Specialist for Dominion Systems. When out of the office he enjoys pulling weeds in his garden and drinking a negroni.
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