What are Financial Wellness Programs and How They Can Increase Employee Happiness

by | Dec 25, 2023 | Blog

Since the pandemic, many Americans have been struggling to get their financial houses in order. If you’re wondering what a financial wellness program encompasses or what would be helpful to your employees, some areas where employees may need help in maintaining their financial wellness are:

  • A manageable level of financial stress.
  • A lifestyle below their means.
  • An emergency savings fund.
  • No high-interest debt.
  • A sufficient insurance coverage plan.
  • An estate plan.
  • An ongoing plan to reach future financial goals.

You can also help employees achieve a state of financial well-being by providing financial education or advice or a program that fosters financial wellness, including:

  • Unbiased guidance with nothing to sell.
  • An ongoing process with support.
  • A broad range of financial topics, from debt management
  • to advanced estate planning.
  • Personalized assistance.
  • Programs integrated with other employee benefits.
  • Free and unlimited access for employees and families.

How to kick off the program?
Decide on an on-site or virtual event if your employees are geographically dispersed. And what’s in it for you? You’ll save money that would have gone to wage garnishments or 401(k) loans, health care costs and costs associated with delayed retirement. Additionally, there will be less absenteeism, and you will boost employee retention and morale.

You’ll be improving employee engagement — the emotional impact of financial burdens can be overwhelming. Money is a significant source of stress. Specifically, personal finance issues can affect mental and physical health, sleep, self-esteem and relationships. Employees appreciate unbiased financial coaching from experienced CFPs who’ll help with earned wage access, student loan assistance and responsible spending, with their overall financial health in mind.

By becoming better investors, your team’s happiness quotient would rise. People often are afraid to go to an adviser because they feel unequipped to ask intelligent questions. However, you can help by giving them information that makes them feel smarter and ready to:

  • Take control of their finances by creating an effective budget and taking advantage of high-reward opportunities such as paying the minimum on all debts, taking full advantage of employer matching opportunities and paying down high-interest debt such as credit cards.
  • Prepare for the unexpected by setting aside emergency savings to cover modest, unexpected expenses; creating a contingency fund in case of job loss; and evaluating insurance and legal document needs.
  • Make progress toward goals by using more tax-advantaged accounts for retirement, health and education, as well as reviewing taxable accounts and setting doable pre-retirement-age goals such as buying homes and cars and taking vacations.

Above all, financial wellness benefits can help employees understand where they are and where they want to be — to retire with confidence, take fewer 401(k) loans, reduce workplace accidents and overall workers’ compensation claims, and have less financial stress, leading to a drop in stress-related illnesses and symptoms, which should drive down your health care costs.

The Barnes Group is here to handle your Human Capital Management needs.

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