You may be wondering if a financial wellness program deserves a spot in your already generous benefit package. According to Prudential, the answer is a resounding YES, and they have the stats to prove it. A comprehensive benefit program, that includes financial wellness options, will alleviate the growing financial stress employees face each day. Fewer stresses will deliver more productive, engaged employees. These changes will result in good employee experiences and strong retention rates which will improve the bottom line.
Do Financial Wellness Programs Make a Difference?
Financial wellness programs can and do make a difference when deployed in a manner that suits your employees. As noted in “Workplace financial education helps lower employee stress, Prudential says,” published on EBN in September, Prudential found measurable improvement. In 2008, Prudential conducted a study of employees and found that nearly 31% of their workforce were experiencing financial stress. This is a rate over the national benchmark of 28% reported by WebMD, as cited in the article. For a financial services firm, this was especially concerning.
Prudential deployed a variety of tools and services to reduce the level of stress including offering monthly budgeting seminars, budgetary coaching, boosting retirement plan contributions and encouraging employees to take advantage of the 401k plan. This program included workshops, lunch-and-learn sessions held by licensed financial advisors and education on topics that included debt management, savings, investing, in addition to retirement planning.
At the end of their 10-year study, which started in 2008, Prudential found a reduction in the number of employees reporting financial troubles. The percentage of employees that reported financial stress dropped to 16%, well below the WebMD national benchmark of 19% at that time.
The financial wellness programs deployed by Prudential weren’t only good for the employees, they proved good for the bottom line. Prudential experienced improved productivity and fewer short-term disability issues.
Supplement Benefit Programs with These Financial Wellness Programs
There are many simple, affordable financial wellness programs available today. Here are four programs you can adopt that will build confidence and reduce the financial pressures facing many of your employees.
- Best Money Moves: Only by understanding what the most common financial stressors are, can you then determine how to alleviate or reduce that stress. Best Money Moves provides employers with the ideal way to start identifying the source of financial stress. This modern solution is not only family and employer-friendly, it’s been gamified to make it entertaining for millennials. Best yet, this solution also provides vetted money coaches in addition to dashboards, calculators and other tools that help employees improve their own financial challenges.
- HOOPAYZ: Healthcare often tops the list of financial worries. Not only are health issues stressful in and of themselves, but complicated billing adds insult to injury. Finding reputable healthcare providers is difficult. Resolving billing mistakes is even worse. HOOPAYZ, a concierge service, provides support for employees looking for reputable, cost-effective providers. Personal advisors are also available to help employees understand financial issues as they pertain to healthcare decisions. These advisors will also help employees fight mistakes that often occur with medical bills.
- PayActiv: This solution is an easy one to add to your financial wellness program. PayActiv solves the small-dollar need for emergencies and cash droughts between paychecks by providing access to earned but unpaid wages. It also provides other employee financial services at no additional cost, such as bill pay, financial counseling, prescription discounts, and lots more.
- GotZoom: It’s likely a percentage of your employees are dealing with some level of student loan debt. These loans can take years to pay off and are a long-standing financial burden for your younger demographic. GotZoom is another solution that has little to no cost for the employer, but delivers a big return for your employees. This solution leverages federal repayment programs providing relief for student loan debt. The sooner employees can pay off this debt, the sooner they can take control over their financial future.
Reduce Financial Stress, Increase Productivity
Prudential identified that financial stress was becoming a burden to their employees which was also a burden to business. After implementing a variety of financial wellness programs, Prudential was able to reduce employees’ financial stress which resulted in improved productivity and other benefits.
A study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, also noted in the EBN article, revealed that 95% of employers viewed financial wellness programs as an effective tool for reaching company goals.
Begin to reduce the financial stress facing your employees by adding financial wellness programs to your benefit package. Contact Integrity Data for guidance with choosing and deploying financial wellness tools that will make a big difference to your employees and your business.