Sure, you give your employees a paycheck and, ideally, insurance benefits. But sometimes, employees need more than that. Financial wellness is one of the most important things you can offer your employees.
According to a 2015 report from the Federal Reserve, 76 million Americans either struggle to get by or are just getting by. As an employer, that should worry you. After all, there is a manufacturing labor shortage. If your employees aren’t financially well, they may jump at the opportunity to take on a higher paying job. Showing your employees you want to help them thrive, even outside of work, goes a long way.
PricewaterhouseCoopers reports that Millennials and Generation X are less likely to change jobs if a company cares about their financial well-being. Offering some financial wellness program can retain your employees. It can also be a useful recruiting tool.
What Kinds of Programs Should You Offer?
Financial wellness programs take many forms. Some of the more common are student loan repayment, 401(k) contributions, credit monitoring programs, and flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. Many employers also offer financial education.
Student Loan Repayment
Forbes reported in February 2019 that current student loan debt is over $1 trillion. Student loan repayment perks are highly attractive to job seekers. You might choose to offer repayment perks after a particular period of time with the company, increasing your retention rates.
Some of them aren’t able to cover an emergency and have already had to dip into retirement funds. Others are unable to think about retirement at all. By offering 401(k) options or matching contributions, you can ensure your employees’ financial freedom and future. They will carry around less stress, making them more productive employees.
Credit Monitoring Programs
A good credit score affects a person’s ability to secure a loan, mortgage, credit cards, and many other things. With rising concerns about identity theft, people have another compelling reason to keep an eye on their credit report. This perk can cost you a minimal amount but make a big difference in an employee’s life.
Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts
FSAs and HSAs are both tax advantage accounts and can affect your employees’ taxable income. Depending on the type of account, some of the money rolls over to the next year, while other times the money must be used or forfeited. If you offer matching, it can help your employees cover unexpected expenses, ensuring both financial and physical wellness.
Showcase the different options to your employees and find out which ones they are more receptive to.
If you’re a smaller company, or already struggling with strained resources, the idea of helping pay down student loans or contribute to a retirement fund may seem out of reach. A relatively low-cost, high value option is to focus on financial education for employees. Many companies are offering this opportunity.
You might bring in a professional to speak to your team. Look for a local accountant, financial planner, or mortgage broker, for example, to give a presentation on their area of expertise. Another option is to look for online, sometimes free, courses that you can encourage employees to take. Reward them for completing these learning experiences with something as simple as an extended lunch break or as generous as a bonus. Tailor the experience to the needs of your company.
Financial wellness is vital to your employees, and it should be for you as well. Financial wellness reduces stress, leading to a better night’s sleep. The better night’s sleep leads to a better workday.