Over the past five years, there has been a significant increase in the trend of financial wellness in the workplace. This trend has accelerated even more in the wake of the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and the Great Resignation.
Employees are now looking for companies with cultural values that prioritize their financial well-being, rather than expecting them to leave their financial problems at the door. It's no surprise that financial stress is the top concern for over half of U.S. workers.
As a result, employees are drawn to companies that offer comprehensive and modern benefits packages that address their overall well-being, including financial wellness. Employers, in turn, are seeking out benefits providers that offer innovative and holistic plans that address the new needs of their workers, including physical and mental health, as well as building a solid and secure financial foundation.
With employees leaving jobs in record numbers, employers are looking for ways to retain their attention. If financial stress is a significant concern for your employees, promoting financial wellness in the workplace and as part of your benefits offering can help to capture their attention and keep them engaged.
By listening to the unique needs of your team, leveraging employee benefits, and promoting ongoing financial learning, your company can see positive changes in employee retention and talent acquisition in 2022 and beyond.
Here are three ways you can attract talent by promoting financial wellness.
#1: Listen to Your Employees
It’s so simple, yet so often overlooked: listen to your employees and their concerns before you adjust your employee benefits options. There’s no better way to find out what your employees need than to ask them directly and listen to their answers.
Listening to your employees and understanding their needs is crucial when it comes to creating an effective financial wellness package. One of the best ways to gather this information is by conducting an employee survey. This survey should be well-written, well-planned, and anonymous to encourage honest feedback.
Tools that are available through your benefits provider, HR departments, and online can help you create a survey that captures all the necessary information. It's best to conduct the survey at the beginning of a new quarter or year, and give employees ample time to respond. Allow 2-4 weeks for responses to come back, as individuals may need time to review their current benefits before providing feedback.
Collecting feedback is important, but analyzing it is key to creating a robust offering for your employees. Be sure to take the time to understand the survey results and bring them to your benefits provider when discussing your existing benefits plan. This way, your provider can create a plan that meets the unique needs of your business and your employees. By listening to your employees, you can tailor your financial wellness package to the specific needs of your team, which will help to improve employee retention and attract top talent.
“95% of HR execs say a re-evaluation of their company’s financial benefits package is a top priority for 2022.” - Morgan Stanley at Work’s 2021 State of the Workplace Study.
#2: Offer Benefits That Supports Holistic Financial Wellness
Leveraging existing benefits is a crucial step in attracting new talent to your company. Whether you're updating your benefits package or keeping the current one, it's important to make sure that you are maximizing every aspect of it and making sure that your employees are aware of all the benefits and perks available to them.
While there are certain benefits that businesses are required by law to offer, such as Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and Worker's Compensation, it's the non-mandatory benefits that can be particularly attractive to potential employees. This is where holistic financial wellness comes into play. By offering a modern and comprehensive benefits package that addresses the financial well-being of your employees, you can attract and retain high-quality talent. At the same time, your employees can leverage these benefits to achieve financial wellness and security.
91% say they’d feel more invested in staying with their employer if offered financial benefits that met their needs. - Morgan Stanley at Work’s 2021 State of the Workplace Study
What does a progressive benefits package look like? It will depend on the unique needs of your team and your business, but here are some of the most popular components of a modern benefits plan that supports holistic financial wellness:
Comprehensive Health Insurance
Physical protection for themselves and their families is a top concern for employees, and health insurance remains a major deciding factor when workers are considering job changes. This is why comprehensive coverage that addresses the needs of your employees is essential. This can include health insurance, vision, dental, and mental health services. By offering a comprehensive benefits package that includes all of these elements, you can ensure that your employees have the physical protection they need to take care of themselves and their families.
Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are special savings accounts that are used by employees solely for healthcare expenses. Each participating employee sets up an HSA and decides how much they want to contribute per pay period. The money deposited into an HSA is not taxed, and any unused funds can be invested and earn tax-free returns. Employers can also contribute to an employee's HSA, but the money in that account belongs to the employee and they can take it with them if they leave the company.
HSAs are a great way for employees to save for future medical expenses and can be a valuable addition to any benefits package. They provide employees with more control over their healthcare spending and can help to alleviate financial stress.
Retirement Savings Options
401k plans are a commonly offered benefit in corporate benefits packages and should be considered if your company does not currently offer one. These plans are established through employers and allow employees to contribute to retirement savings accounts on a tax-free basis, usually through payroll deductions. Employers can make this benefit even more attractive by offering 401k matching, where the employer matches the employee's contributions (or a certain percentage of it) into the account. This can be a great way to help employees save for retirement and can be an important consideration when looking to attract and retain top talent.
On-demand pay is a service that allows employees to access their earned wages before their regular pay period. This can be done through an app like OrbisPay, and the employee is typically charged a very small fee for the service. On-demand pay can be beneficial to employees by providing them with greater flexibility in managing their finances and access to funds in case of an emergency. It also helps employees who face financial stress to manage it better, thus reducing the impact of stress on their work performance. For employers, offering on-demand pay can lead to improved employee retention, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity.
On-demand pay is an employer-sponsored benefit, meaning that the employer must be enrolled with an on-demand pay service provider to provide access to this benefit to their employees. There is no cost to the employer to enroll, and all advances are fronted by the on-demand pay service provider, hence no impact on an employer’s cash flow.
Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are a valuable resource for employees who are facing personal or work-related challenges. These programs provide a range of services and resources to help employees manage difficult situations, such as debt, physical or mental health issues, legal problems, and addiction.
EAPs can include counseling, financial coaching, legal advice, and referral services to help employees find the support they need to overcome their challenges. By offering EAPs, employers can demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of their employees and help to create a more positive and supportive work environment. This can lead to improved employee retention, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity. EAPs can also be a valuable resource for employers, as they can help to minimize the impact of personal issues on employee performance and minimize the risk of workplace disruption.
#3 Monitor Employee Engagement Actively
Offering a "Lunch and Learn" session on financial literacy and wellness is a great start, but there are many other ways to boost your employees' financial education and well-being. By working with your benefits provider, you can explore supplemental benefits and perks that promote financial literacy and wellness, such as access to online classes or workshops, tools, apps, local events, keynote speaker events, and resources, either exclusively or at a discounted rate.
Another approach is to be more transparent about the company's financial plan and share it with employees, explain it, and answer any questions they may have. This can foster a high degree of trust and loyalty, while also providing employees with an opportunity to expand their financial awareness, concepts, and practices that can greatly impact their financial literacy and well-being. Employers can also set periodic company-wide challenges to promote savings or other financially fit initiatives, with rewards that are generally financial in nature, but throughout the period of the challenge, it encourages healthy competition, positive financial focus, and a sense of rapport between company and employee.
In conclusion, there are many ways to promote ongoing education opportunities for employees to learn and implement ways to become more financially healthy and resilient. Whether it comes from the employer or a third party, it's a great way to win the hearts and minds of top talent and support their financial well-being.
Morgan Stanley. (2021, November 23). Workplace Benefits Study Results. Morgan Stanley. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://www.morganstanley.com/atwork/articles/state-of-workplace-financial-benefits-study-2021