Because money is the number one cause of stress, as a Financial Therapist, I understand the crucial role financial success and well-being together play in an individual's overall feeling of success. But also a company's success if it relies on the power of employees.
When the work environment is fast-paced and responsibilities are heavy both at work and at home, employees need access to resources and support. Employees often face financial stress that can impact their productivity, engagement, and even their health. That's where workplace financial wellness programs come in. These programs offer a valuable solution for businesses to support their employees' financial well-being and drive organizational success.
Companies like Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise Financial are making a positive impact with their workplace financial wellness programs. Major financial institutions are entering the market because it’s no longer a mystery what these programs do. Companies now know they are needed, the biggest question is how to choose the program partner that’s right for your employees. Leaders may also have questions around overcoming their own biases related to financial wellness programs. I’ll address these questions and give tips in my next post.
One of the key ways workplace financial wellness programs can impact businesses is by increasing employee productivity. Financial stress can be a significant distraction for employees, causing them to lose focus on their work responsibilities.
However, with the right financial education, resources, and tools provided through a comprehensive financial wellness program, employees can gain better control of their finances and reduce financial stress. This, in turn, can help them stay focused, engaged, and more productive at work.
Most of these programs leave out Financial Therapy, but I predict they will soon include it as we gain more awareness. Financial Therapy gets to the root of what’s causing the stress, poor money habits, and financial overwhelm. When an employee is living check-to-check it’s not just because they don’t know how to budget, it’s often because of money beliefs that were passed down to them by their parents, peers, and even through their culture. This is still needed but let’s get back to what’s included and the benefits these programs provide.
Workplace financial wellness programs can also contribute to employee retention and recruitment. Companies that prioritize their employees' financial well-being and offer robust financial wellness programs are often perceived as caring and supportive employers. This can lead to increased employee loyalty, satisfaction, and retention, as well as attract top talent in a competitive job market.
In addition to productivity and retention benefits, workplace financial wellness programs can also help reduce absenteeism and healthcare costs. This is because financial stress can lead to increased absenteeism and healthcare utilization. Since money is the number one cause of stress and stress is the number one cause of many illnesses, if the money stress is resolved other challenges are resolved with it.
By providing financial education, tools, and resources to manage personal finances, companies can potentially help employees reduce financial stress and improve their overall health. I believe it was Michael Lewis who said, "A healthy bottom line starts with a healthy employee, and financial wellness programs can be the Rx for ailing absenteeism and healthcare costs!"
Another significant impact of workplace financial wellness programs is in retirement preparedness. Many employees struggle with retirement planning and may not be adequately prepared for their golden years. They struggle to understand the choices and don’t always know who to turn to for answers. The coaches and representatives can explain vital information to employees, without trying to sell them any particular products.
Through retirement planning guidance and tools offered in financial wellness programs, employees can gain valuable insights and take proactive steps to prepare for retirement. This can result in employees being better positioned for retirement, potentially reducing their reliance on company-sponsored retirement plans and positively impacting the company's retirement benefit costs.
Lastly, workplace financial wellness programs can also contribute to creating a positive organizational culture. When employees feel supported, empowered, and valued through comprehensive financial wellness programs, it can foster a culture of trust, loyalty, and engagement within the company. When an employee stands to lose benefits by going to another company they give more consideration to the decision.
A company that invests in its employees' financial well-being is a wise investor.
If you haven’t put a Financial Wellness plan in place for your employees, consider how it could reduce healthcare costs and absenteeism. Also think about how it can increase productivity and revenue. Equally important is the morale of the employees and the culture you foster by showing where your priorities lie. Employees notice what you do, but they also notice what you don’t do.
You are not alone. I’ll continue this series with two more parts, but if you have deeper questions and you really want answers quickly, join the free Financial Therapy Challenge to get free Financial Therapy and while you’re there you can ask me anything about how workplace financial wellness programs offer a win-win solution for businesses and employees alike.
Though the benefits of financial wellness programs are undeniable, you could still feel unsure how to choose the program that’s right for you. Here are a few that you could research further.
Companies like Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise Financial are leading the way in this space. I’ve personally worked with these companies and I know how they do business. Of course, you’ll need to do your own research, but if you’d like a referral, please let me know. I can connect you with an advisor who can help you.