How to Find the Right Financial Wellness Benefits for Your Company
The benefits landscape has drastically evolved over the course of the past few decades. The expectations of employees have changed, and there is a significant opportunity for companies to help employees across all aspects of their lives.
One critical component that impacts every single employee at a company, regardless of their experience, salary, and seniority is money. It sounds like a taboo topic, but it truly impacts every single individual, and it is more important than ever.
Today, the vast majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, inflation is close to a 40-year high, student debt amounts are staggering, mortgage rates are climbing, the market is turbulent, and gas prices are setting new records. Finances take a real toll on individuals and can lead to stress, waning productivity, and significant burdens on overall mental health.
Employees want and need more help with their finances than ever before, and most employees aren’t getting the personalized financial expertise they need to feel secure about their finances.
Implementing the right financial wellness program can help change that.
Here are 6 key components to keep in mind when you’re looking at financial wellness benefits:
1. Find a holistic offering that supports all financial decisions
Most employees need support across a variety of financial decisions. For example, maybe the company is remote-first, and they’re considering a move. Or perhaps they have a lot of student debt and are wondering if they should pay it down or max out their retirement contributions. Or potentially they’re having a child and trying to figure out how to think about estate planning and saving for their education. There’s a lot on your employees, and it’s helpful to have a holistic offering that will help them navigate all of their financial questions, and the tradeoffs that come along with them.
2. Offer multiple ways to engage
Not every employee will want to work with a financial wellness benefit in the same way, so it’s helpful to roll out a plan that supports digital and human experiences. While some people like to read or take online courses, others might just want to speak to a financial expert. Going with an offering that can do both will allow employees to uniquely engage in their own ways and will ensure that all of your employees can benefit.
3. Consider access to financial professionals
Not all financial professionals have the same credentials, and the incentives can vary from one advisor to the next. Additionally, while some benefits provide unlimited access to advisors, others will only include a set number of sessions, so it’s important to understand what employees will actually have access to.
Advisors can be compensated in a number of ways by the companies they work with, and it’s wise to get an understanding of how that works to ensure that advisor interests are aligned with the employees. For example, are they compensated if they sell products? Do they receive a cut of all investments? Take these into consideration when selecting a benefit like this.
4. Get customized for your company
A plug-and-play solution might be tempting; after all, it’s ready to go immediately. But just because a benefit checks the box doesn’t mean it’s going to deliver the value you’re looking to provide to employees.
To provide employees with a solution that is going to deliver the maximum value possible, it’s essential that the benefit is tailored to your company and your existing policies and benefits. A few of the ways this can come to light include benefits, compensation structures, specific areas of interest, and alignment with your core objectives. For example, if you offer a generous 401(k) match, then the benefit should highlight that to your employees for them to take advantage of. Or if you offer equity, you should make sure the provider you bring on has expertise and can help employees with the specific considerations that are needed.
5. Allow individual customization, too
Not every single employee has the same level of financial expertise or the same balance in their checking account. Since you’re likely only selecting one financial wellness benefit, it’s important that it has the ability to flex to the unique needs of your individual employees.
At the end of the day, financial wellness benefits have the potential to reduce your employee’s stress, make them feel confident, increase their productivity, and help them lead a happier and more balanced life. By finding the right partner, you can help them get on their way to achieving financial health.
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