Anxious. Worried. Helpless. Hopeless. These are the words people frequently use to describe their financial situations. Even in the most upbeat company cultures, workers are still stressed out about their personal finances at home.
More than 60% of them have less than $500 in savings, and live month-to-month without much financial cushion in the event of an emergency. About half of them feel that they have a limited understanding of personal financial management.
Here’s another sad fact: 25% of them have given up on the dream of ever retiring. That’s especially true of millennials, who are graduating from college with more than $37,000 in student loan debt. They now face decades of playing catch-up.
This kind of financial anxiety has a devastating effect on a person’s emotional outlook, physical health, and workplace productivity. Instead of feeling whole, they feel broken.
A Holistic Financial Wellness Approach
In the face of these challenges, many employers are trying to help their workers eliminate financial anxiety by offering a new benefit: holistic financial wellness plans. These money management programs go far beyond penny pinching. They address a person’s financial picture from the standpoint of total wellness.
Holistic financial wellness programs are based on important questions about human behavior and employees’ individual situations, like:
- What is your current financial status?
- Do you have the data you need to understand your situation?
- Which emotions are driving your decisions?
- How high is your level of stress?
- What are the root causes of the problems you face?
- What does success look like for you?
- What would make you feel motivated to make financial changes?
- What do you need to move forward from here?
When people are struggling financially, they usually have vague answers to questions like these. They can’t picture feeling financially successful. The future looks hazy and dark.
Only when the questions above are fully addressed can a person take positive steps toward financial improvement. Employers can help their employees take the first step with a workplace-sponsored, employee financial wellness program.
Getting Real About Employee Financial Wellness
For an employer, these programs are also a holistic solution for the business itself. They address deeper day-to-day workplace issues like motivation, concentration, and productivity. When employees can’t focus on work due to financial strain, employers pay the price.
In fact, anxiety is the source of $300 billion a year in U.S. employer costs. Depression and anxiety force people to seek expensive healthcare solutions. Financial frustration causes them to seek out higher-paying employers, leaving their previous employers with the costs of rehiring.
It’s a vicious cycle – one that eats companies alive. Low productivity and high employee turnover are characteristics of a company struggling to survive. After all, each lost employee costs at least $15,000 in reduced productivity, missed opportunity, and the time it takes to hire someone else.
Companies don’t have to struggle because their employees are buried in financial chaos. Holistic wellness programs flip the script. Rather than assuming employees’ financial problems are unsolvable – or not the problem of the company – these programs tackle financial wellness head-on.
A holistic program uses positive, upbeat solutions based on real-world results. The entire experience is low-pressure. Incentives like points, rewards, and contests make financial management fun. Employees actually begin to look forward to dealing with their finances.
Mitigating Risk for Companies with Financial Wellness Programs
For an employer, a holistic program limits the risks they face with the workforce: healthcare, turnover, violence, and injury. It turns these issues around into success-focused traits: health, loyalty, camaraderie, and productivity.
It also gives the employer happy news to share about a valuable benefit. They’re at the forefront of innovation with a fresh approach to employee benefits. When employers introduce a financial wellness program, employees see a solution to stress on the horizon. Suddenly their employer is part of the answer, not the problem.
This makes it easier to assist employees in need. Now when a department manager or HR supervisor sees an employee in dire financial straits, they have something to offer. They can approach the issue from a total wellness standpoint, supporting someone in solving the most stressful situation of their life.
The end goal: happy, productive employees. It’s happening every day with the holistic programs that are part of Integrity Data’s financial wellness approach. Contact us today to see how we can help you help your employees get on the path to financial wellness.