It’s no secret that managing your finances is challenging. What many employers are beginning to realize, however, is that financial stress doesn’t just harm employees. It hurts their business, too.
A 2017 report on optimizing financial wellness programs showed that those with low financial wellness and high financial stress cost their employers directly. These costs come in the form of absenteeism, garnishments, and even delayed retirement.
Financial stress exists in a variety of demographics. Young adults struggle with high levels of debt, especially school-related debt for college. Families struggle to meet financial goals due to cash flow issues. Even older adults have financial stress from caring for aging parents or children who have returned home.
To run a successful financial wellness program in 2019, you need to fully understand the situation of your current workforce. Here are five key financial wellness statistics for 2019 to keep in mind.
Employees Regularly Use Retirement Plans as a Safety Net for Current Needs
The recently-released 2018 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey shows that employees are more focused on finding ways to meet their current needs than saving for the future.
In fact, instead of using retirement accounts for taking care of themselves after they leave work, more and more employees are using them as an emergency savings account.
42 percent of employees say it’s likely they’ll need to use money in a retirement account for expenses other than retirement. That percentage jumps significantly when you’re talking to employees who are financially stressed or have significant school loan expenses.
To help employees solve this problem, it’s better to help them create a plan to develop emergency savings, rather than to further restrict access to retirement funds. This will help them avoid more expensive emergency cash.
The Majority of Employees Define Financial Wellness as Freedom from Stress
PwC also found that the majority of employees consider financial wellness to be defined as freedom from stress and worry about money and expenses. 81 percent defined financial wellness as some form of freedom.
What does that mean to employers? As you implement your financial wellness programs, find new ways to help employees get the peace of mind they desire. As you encourage employees to participate in initiatives, use the language of “freedom” to help them understand how the initiatives will help them meet their goals.
This will increase participation and help more employees find financial balance!
Over Half of Employees Want Reassurance about Financial Decisions
We all know that financial wellness programs that dictate to employees or require specific actions are more likely to fail. Although many employees are stressed about money, they don’t want to lose their sense of autonomy.
However, PwC found that 54 percent of employees want to make their own decisions, but want someone else to validate that they did the right thing.
Take advantage of this in your own programs. Offer a variety of good choices and help employees feel good about the steps they choose to take. Consider giving positive reinforcement for that decision repeatedly so that employees stick with it.
20 Percent of Employees would Trade Pay Raises for Better Health Coverage
You’d think that with all the talk of financial stress, employees would be very focused on getting more pay for their work. In reality, health care is still a major financial stressor for many workers.
20 percent of employees told PwC that they would be willing to sacrifice future pay raises for better healthcare benefits. If you’re looking to address this concern with a program that works for both you and your employees, HooPayz can be an excellent option.
Financial Wellness Programs Improve Satisfaction with Overall Benefits
Prudential found that 83 percent of employers offer some form of a financial wellness program, and that doing so makes everyone more satisfied. Both employers and employees report higher satisfaction with their benefit plans when financial wellness is offered.
Employers look to financial wellness programs to help them improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and even retirement plan participation. If you’re ready to improve these things at your company in 2019, focusing on financial wellness is a must.
Get the Financial Wellness Programs Your Company Needs Today
These employee financial wellness statistics for 2019 are very eye-opening. Having a financial wellness program in place is vital.
No workplace has exactly the same needs as another, so it’s useful to find a financial products provider that allows you to build your own customized program. Survey employees to discover their specific needs, and then determine what to offer.
From student loan relief, financial advice advocates, or mobile-based money management, Integrity Data is here to help you. We have a variety of programs to fit the needs of any workplace. Put your employees’ financial concerns first this year, and discover how much your company will benefit!
Need more financial wellness statistics to make your case for a program in your workplace? Download our infographic: 5 Shocking Facts about Employee Financial Stress and how it is Impacting Your Business.