Financial uncertainty impacts over half of your employees. What you may not realize is that this struggle is also damaging your business.
People who struggle financially have more stress and tend to be ill more often. They miss more work and are less engaged and productive. Employer healthcare costs in 2019 are already going up; you can’t afford to overlook the financial health of employees.
The good news is there are financial wellness vendors who make it their responsibility to help you find the right program. Having a financial wellness program can make a big difference for your employees and your company. However, not all programs are created equal – it’s important to choose the right one for your staff.
Here are some criteria you can use to choose the best financial wellness program for your company.
Meets Both Short-Term and Long-Term Needs
Unfortunately, many financial programs are focused on upper-income individuals and focus primarily on retirement savings.
There’s nothing wrong with encouraging your employees to plan for the future, but many of them are facing pressing financial issues today. The best financial wellness program will have options for both short-term and long-term financial goals.
Some of the current financial stressors that your employees are dealing with include:
- An average of $32,000 in student debt
- An average of $15,000 per household of credit card debt
- Increasing cost of living without similarly increasing wages
- Aging parents and young adults living at home
These immediate concerns can make it hard to think about setting financial goals and meeting them. As a result, it’s vital to make sure your financial wellness program can help with these immediate needs as well as future planning.
Moves Beyond Simply Education
Being told what they “should” do doesn’t help your employees actually follow through. Most people know they should spend less and save more, but don’t have the resources to do so.
The best financial wellness program will go beyond education and planning and actually help your employees financially. For example, as a financial wellness vendor, we can recommend our GotZoom program which provides student loan assistance, and Best Money Moves which is a mobile-first service designed to help people measure financial stress and then dial it down in order to get control of their financial lives.
Unfortunately, without concrete financial assistance, your employees can fall victim to predatory lending practices, which only increases stress. When you can offer a holistic financial wellness program, you help prevent these issues.
Accounts for Healthcare
Healthcare costs are a concern for both employers and employees. As employer healthcare costs per employee continue to rise, employees are paying more and more out of pocket each year.
Wellness programs can help your employees avoid healthcare costs, but advocacy can also be part of your financial wellness program. It’s important to empower patients to understand their health benefits and make informed decisions. HooPayz is a good example of this. This healthcare management program is customized to your employees’ health benefits plan offering price checks, bill reviews, and more. It’s like a personal concierge service for your health insurance.
When you help employees maintain good health and also take care of their own benefits, you’ll see decreases in your own costs. The average cost of employer-provided health insurance in 2019 is likely to be higher, but with less illness and fewer absences, you’ll see gains in your bottom line.
The Program Must Be Flexible
If you take a survey of your employees’ concerns, you’ll discover that they’re all over the map. Someone might have issues affording childcare, while another is single and caring for an older parent.
As a result, the best financial wellness program will have a variety of options. Not everyone will need the same things, but having a suite of services will allow you to meet everyone where they are.
Privacy is Paramount
Anytime you’re helping people with money issues, you’re approaching a very sensitive subject. Many of your staff won’t want to admit they are having problems, or share the depth of the struggle they are facing.
You probably want to avoid a group lunch-and-learn type approach, because that requires people to be vulnerable enough to share their issues in front of others. Instead, try for education programs that are individual, such as computerized self-paced programs.
Another major benefit of these online programs is that they are flexible and easy to scale. You don’t have to schedule time off or organize everyone’s schedules to match up. Employees can bare all from the comfort of their computers.