6 Steps to Empower Your Employees to Financial Wellness
If you own a business, your employees are likely your greatest asset.
And as a savvy and caring business owner, you want your employees happy and satisfied to keep productivity high and turnover low. One way you can help address your employees’ happiness is to combat one of their biggest stressors: money.
According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, money is the second largest cause of stress in Americans today.1 Fortunately, helping your employees conquer and eliminate their financial stressors is within your power. Below are six ways in which you can empower your employees to find financial wellness and reduce stress.
Step 1: Provide Financial CounselingIn a recent survey of millennials, only eight percent were able to prove they have a high level of financial knowledge, yet the majority of those surveyed did not seek professional financial help.2 Luckily, as a business owner, you’re in a position to help your employees close the knowledge gap about their finances.
Consider hosting workshops on home buying, loan consolidation, car buying and any other relevant issues your employees face today. Create safe spaces to talk in open forums, and offer in-house or contracted financial counseling for your employees to utilize.
Step 2: Consider Student Loan Assistance
Sixty-two percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 acquired debt to obtain their bachelor’s degree, while that number jumps to 75 percent of those with a graduate’s degree.3 With statistics like those, chances are there may be employees in your workforce who are currently paying down some student debt.
As an employer there are several ways to offer assistance, from providing student loan counseling to establishing a match contribution program. Additionally, some employers offer varying degrees of student loan assistance for employees who commit to working a certain number of years at that company. With outstanding loan debt hitting an all-time high of $1.46 trillion in America, employers are getting more involved than ever to offer loan relief and assistance where they can.4
Step 3: Encourage Wellness
A great way to help employees combat stress is to promote physical well-being. If your office space allows it, consider offering an in-house fitness center or studio that employees can take advantage of before, during and after work.
If your workspace does not lend itself to this option, you can still provide gym membership reimbursements and other wellness benefits. By offering financial incentives like reimbursements, you can help your employees gain access to important programs and amenities they otherwise may not be able to afford.
Step 4: Implement Employee Purchasing Programs
If your employees are looking to take a few courses at a local college or purchase a new computer for their home office, an employee purchasing program may be a beneficial option. While it typically puts little to no financial burden on your company, employee purchasing programs can allow an employee to purchase items through you and pay interest-free through paycheck deductions or other agreed-upon methods. These can help protect employees from other more costly alternatives, including loans or credit cards with high interest rates.
Step 5: Offer Healthcare Guidance
If you offer healthcare benefits, you’re already helping to empower your employees. But when possible, try taking your insurance offerings one step further by providing easy access and useful tools for employees.
When possible, offer employees an intuitive smartphone app or webpage portal that can help them easily track and monitor their deductibles, claims and costs. This can help employees understand how much they should be setting aside for medical emergencies as well as what claims they’ve already made for the year.
Step 6: Mandate 401(k) Education
Again, offering a retirement plan option for employees is a great way to promote financial wellness within your company. But if you aren’t educating your employees about their options or answering their questions, you could be keeping a significant number from participating. It should be a priority of yours to make sure your employees are comfortable with their 401(k) or 403(b) options. Offer workshops or work with your company’s financial advisor to offer ongoing education for employees.
Stress in the workplace can lead to hostility, procrastination, lack of enthusiasm and a slowdown in productivity. And since money is one of the leading stressors of adults in America, empowering your employees with important financial education and incentives can help cut it back.