Employers, its time to start supporting your employees’ financial wellness
Every employer—at least every good one—cares about the wellbeing of their employees. Outside of the basic health insurance and 401(k)s, many companies also offer wellness programs to encourage fitness amongst their staff or even have an educational budget for employees to go back to school or participate in certification courses.
But what about an employee’s financial wellness? This should be a priority for employers as well.
Why is it important?
Financial literacy, resources and support can make a huge difference in a person’s life. When you’re stressed about money or living paycheck-to-paycheck, it’s hard to focus on anything else—including your job.
As an employer, having employees who are worried about money is bad for business. Implementing a program to support your people through financial decisions, market changes and the journey to retirement will improve day-to-day work and the morale of the office.
It’s not a new idea
Financial wellness programs are not new. The military has been doing it for years. Servicemen and women have access to financial advisors, tax preparers, estate planners, counselors and so many other resources that not everybody knows of or takes advantage of. In fact, these resources are available for most state and federal employees. Some private companies have programs as well, but they are buried in the employee handbook and seldom talked about.
These types of programs can take a huge amount of stress off a family, leading to more focus and transparency in a company and less distractions among workers.
What I’m recommending
Every company needs a program to help their employees understand their financial situations and make educated decisions regarding their futures. Whether you hire CPAs and advisors to work for you or reach out to third party vendors, find a way to support your employees.
Practicing what I preach
As the CEO of a financial planning firm, every employee my team hires is given a benefits package that includes a comprehensive financial plan and a financial advisor to work with one-on-one at no cost to them.
This is thousands of dollars-worth of financial resources, free of charge. Why? Because we have seen, repeatedly, that investing in our employees and giving them tools they need to succeed will improve our bottom line every time.
An effective model
For years, our firm has partnered with large, nationwide companies to offer a financial wellness plan to their employees. We send advisors to offices across the country to consult with any employee interested in participating—at no cost to the employee—to discuss their 401(k) elections, retirement projections and how they can plan for their financial future.
For offices we don’t visit in person, the same consultation is available by phone or video.
A financial wellness program may not be the first benefit an employee thinks of, but it will likely be the most important. Having financial support—especially for free—is proven to lead to increased happiness throughout a career and into retirement.