Offering Financial Wellness as an Employee Benefit Can Attract and Retain Workers
COVID-19 has made good workers harder and harder for employers to find. Enhanced benefits are one way that employers can set themselves apart from the competition when recruiting quality employees. Before the pandemic, fewer companies offered the option of working a hybrid schedule mixing in-person and remote work as a benefit to prospective workers. Now the majority do.
Workers Credit Union is ahead of the curve on the next great frontier of employee benefits – financial wellness. While many companies offer health insurance plans with incentives for employees who join a gym or start a new diet, most don’t give their employees’ financial wellness the same consideration as their physical health. But they should. According to a recent Bright Plan survey of 1,500 workers, financial stress costs employers $4.7 billion per week. A fifth of workers said their financial health has worsened during the pandemic and 46% have had lower productivity as a result.
Workers has a program that allows Massachusetts employers free access to financial coaches they can offer as a company benefit. This goes far beyond the financial literacy information and webinars some employers offer their employees. Our trained Workers WayTM financial coaches meet with employees one on one - to listen without judging, to answer questions, and to provide the tools and support that empower people to make good decisions, no matter what stage of life they may be in. Having regular meetings keeps the employee encouraged and motivated to follow their path to financial wellness.
There are several benefits to the employer as well. The program is cost-free. The biggest benefit, though, is productivity. According to a MetLife Employee Benefit Trends study, people who are less worried about their personal finances are more productive. In fact, 85% of financially healthy workers reported feeling more productive at work. Employees can be more fully dedicated to their job if their mind is not distracted by concerns about where they will get the money to meet their monthly bills or pay for those new tires they need before winter. Offering this program also promotes retention and can be used as a recruitment tool. Providing a benefit that other companies don’t attracts prospective employees, encourages existing employees to stay in their jobs and creates better engagement between employers and their workforce. It shows employees that the company they work for cares about their financial well-being and wants to work with them to make their financial dreams come true.
The feedback we have received on the program has been positive. Some participating employees have said they had no idea they could get judgement free financial advice that is not aimed at selling them a product. Others say they like the convenience and that it can be done in a setting and at a time that meets the needs of their busy schedules.
This innovative benefit is a way to help employees do well while also doing good.