In recent years, wellness has become a focal point for employers for good reason. Improving the health and wellness of your workforce yields a multitude of benefits. While the link between physical health and wellness programs is clear, there is a new kind of wellness that can have a profound impact on employees – financial wellness.
According to Morgan Stanley, 52% of employees report feeling stressed about finances. 49% of these finically stressed employees spend 3 or more working hours a week thinking about or dealing with their personal finances. Financial wellness programs aim to increase employees’ ability and willingness to carry out budgeting and saving. Employees who are financially empowered can come to work with less stress, greater focus, and mental clarity.
So how do employers put an action plan in place to promote financially fit employees? Offering educational resources, communication programs, and savings plans are unlikely to be effective if they don’t directly connect with employees’ interests, needs and concerns.
We suggest promoting financial wellness in a customized, goal-centered, interactive approach. Reaching employees through a variety of outlets such as video content, education portals, webinars, provider-resource demos, and in-person session opportunities gives employees a variety of choices in how they receive financial information. Furthermore, the content of these offerings should be properly aligned with the employee population.
The last thing employees want is another run-of-the-mill retirement presentation, but varied communication offerings and interactive meetings can be a great way to help employees strengthen their financial knowledge on key topics. Topics such, as how much to save, how saving can fit into their current take-home pay and budget, asset allocation, and how to avoid common saving pitfalls are all topics employees can benefit from strengthening.
Frame these topics in a way that helps employees understand them within the context of both their current financial situation and the implication on future retirement goals. It’s not enough to tell employees they need to save. Employees should be shown how they can save without putting their current financial situation in jeopardy, and why saving is important.
To learn more about how to best integrate financial wellness principles into your retirement plan, contact an MMA advisor today.
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