The Zarmac Employee Benefits Plan, like those at many progressive companies, recognizes that financial wellness is an essential element of a comprehensive benefits strategy.
As more and more companies appreciate the impact of financial health on their employee’s overall well-being and productivity, financial wellness programs are fast becoming a critical inclusion in benefits plans.
But what is financial wellness, and why is it growing in importance? Let’s dive in and find out.
Understanding Financial Wellness
Simply put, financial wellness is the ability to have a healthy economic life.
It encompasses learning how to successfully manage financial expenses, having access to the resources to help manage financial crises, and the ability to set and achieve financial goals, leading to financial security and freedom.
Financial wellness is not just about making more money; it’s about managing money better.
Financial wellness is not a standalone concept. It’s interconnected with physical and mental health, often casting a significant impact on an individual’s life and work.
Money worries can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments, negatively affecting an individual’s job performance and satisfaction.
The Growing Trend of Financial Wellness in Employee Benefits Plans
The inclusion of financial wellness in employee benefits plans has seen a significant uptick in recent years. Several reasons underpin this trend.
The economic uncertainties created by global events have underscored the need for better personal financial management.
Also, there’s a growing awareness of the impact of financial stress on mental and physical health and, by extension, productivity at work.
As companies scramble to attract and retain talent in a competitive market, robust benefits packages—including a financial wellness component—are becoming a powerful differentiator.
In a 2020 survey by Salary Finance, 58% of employees stated that an employer-provided financial wellness benefit would make a job offer more attractive.
Benefits of Incorporating Financial Wellness into Employee Benefits Plans
There are multiple benefits to integrating financial wellness into your benefits strategy.
For one, it can dramatically improve employee productivity. A financially stressed employee can spend up to three work hours each week dealing with personal finance issues, according to a report from PwC.
Financial wellness programs can also lead to increased employee satisfaction. Employees who feel supported in all aspects of their lives, including financial stability, tend to have higher job satisfaction and loyalty.
Another crucial benefit lies in recruitment and retention. Financial wellness programs can be a significant draw in an era where job-seekers are not just looking for a paycheck but for an employer who cares about their holistic well-being.
Real-Life Examples of Companies Incorporating Financial Wellness
Several companies have realized the importance of financial wellness and are leading the way in integrating it into their benefits plans.
One example is Starbucks, which offers its partners (employees) various financial benefits, including comprehensive financial education resources, access to emergency loans, and even tuition assistance for a bachelor’s degree.
Prudential Financial has also been a pioneer, offering its employees financial wellness programs that include retirement coaching, budgeting tools, and resources to manage student loan debt.
These forward-thinking companies recognize that investing in their employees’ financial wellness is an investment in their future success.
How to Implement a Financial Wellness Program in Your Benefits Plan
If you’re considering adding a financial wellness component to your benefits plan, there are a few key steps to consider.
- First, identify the unique financial needs of your employees. This can be done through anonymous surveys or polls.
- Next, based on your findings, consider which aspects of financial wellness to focus on. These could include budgeting and saving, retirement planning, managing debt, and more.
- Thirdly, research and partner with a credible financial wellness provider that aligns with your employees’ needs and company values.
- Finally, effectively communicate the new benefits to your employees and ensure they understand how to use them.
In conclusion, the importance of financial wellness in employee benefits plans can’t be overstated. As we’ve seen, it impacts employee productivity, job satisfaction, and company loyalty.
While implementing a financial wellness program requires thoughtful planning and investment, the returns—in terms of recruitment, retention, and overall workforce wellbeing—are well worth the effort.
So, if you’re an employer, it’s time to look closer at your benefits package. Is it offering the holistic support your employees need to thrive?
If not, consider incorporating financial wellness into your benefits strategy. Your employees—and your bottom line—will thank you.