- 77% of employees say financial stress is affecting their mental health, and 52% said it’s impacting their physical well-being.
- There are ways in which workplace leaders can improve the lives and financial wellness of their workers.
- Ladder, a life insurance insurtech company, has suggested that companies would give themselves a leg up in recruiting and retention if they promoted a comprehensive financial well-being program for their employees.
While mental and physical wellness are hugely important to the happiness and success of today’s workers, financial wellness is also becoming more of a priority.
Employee financial stress is at an all-time high, according to HR Morning. 77% of employees have said it’s affecting their mental health, and 52% said it’s impacted their physical well-being. For employees, finances are actually the top source of stress — even more so than health or family issues.
There are ways in which workplace leaders can improve the lives and financial wellness of their workers, as well as retain and attract employees.
According to SHRM, 35% of HR professionals surveyed offered financial planning benefits for long-term security, such as sessions with a financial advisor on wealth management, investments and estate planning. Financial coaching on the basics of personal finance is offered by 24% of respondents, and includes advice about personal budgeting, savings, debt and credit management.
Ladder, a life insurance insurtech company, has suggested that companies would give themselves a leg up in recruiting and retention if they promoted a comprehensive financial well-being program for their employees.
Ladder’s Co-founder and CEO Jamie Hale gave some tips on how companies can motivate employees by developing a financial well-being program.
Allwork.Space: How can developing a financial well-being program improve company culture?
Jamie Hale: It’s been great to see companies focus more on an employee’s emotional and physical well-being in recent years, but finances very much play into both of those and need to be considered as well. A recent study shows that over half of adults said thinking about their finances makes them anxious.
Some examples of being financially fit include knowing your financial goals, working to meet them, maintaining your lifestyle, managing debt well, and so forth. If you feel fit, whether in physical, emotional, or financial health, you can maximize your contributions in both your personal and professional life.
As an employer, it’s important to understand that the health of your employees impacts the health of your business. And showing that you care for them as people — not just employees — will in turn lead them to care for your business as more than just a paycheck.
Allwork.Space: What types of financial well-being programs are there?
Jamie Hale: There are a few types of financial wellness programs that are becoming more standard in today’s corporate culture, especially as employers fight for great talent. They include:
- Educational offerings. Companies can offer financial literacy programs, continuing education, webinars, and more.
- Employer-matching programs. It’s becoming more standard for there to be an employer match for funds such as a retirement fund like a 401(K), a 529 education savings plan, or even a student loan match plan. These programs help signal to employees that an employer cares and is invested in their financial future.
- Financial assistance. Financial assistance programs such as pre-tax savings accounts like Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, Dependent Care Accounts, and transit accounts all help add to an employee’s pre-tax bottom line. There are also options like emergency grants, stock options, and relocation assistance.
- Paid parental leave. It can be a shock to new parents to know that the Federal Medical Leave Act does not guarantee any sort of pay. Parents are already in a vulnerable transition period after birth, and they deserve to be paid fully while on leave and supported by their employer. Consider offering at least 10 weeks of paid leave for both the birthing and non-birthing parents, with options to extend beyond that.
- Short-term and long-term disability and, of course, life insurance. We’re in the insurance business — we get that the unexpected happens. It’s a great relief for employees to know that if the unexpected happens, insurance can step in to take care of them or their loved ones.
- Healthcare from day one. It can be jolting to start a new job, only to learn that you’re going to have to pay for COBRA to bridge a healthcare gap for 30 to 90 days. This can be prohibitively expensive for some, especially if you have dependents. No one wants to see their first paycheck eaten up by COBRA. Offer healthcare coverage options on day one to give employees confidence that they’re covered.
Allwork.Space: Why should these sorts of benefits be top of mind for employers in the current economy?
Jamie Hale: Our employees do great work for us, so we want to do great work for them. The more confident employees feel in their financial situation, the more it contributes to their overall well-being. That’s particularly important in times of uncertainty. Employees are feeling the world shift around them, which is causing high levels of stress that were already elevated due to COVID-19.
Through these benefits, employers can help employees feel more confident knowing they have a solid financial plan in place to weather a potential downturn. Investing in your employees’ financial well-being should be standard not only to attract and retain talent but to ensure a healthy and productive workplace.