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August 5, 2021

5 strategies to increase utilization of financial wellness benefits

5 strategies to increase utilization of financial wellness benefits

It’s encouraging to see more companies offering financially focused employee benefits—and we’re likely to see a jump after the pandemic, given that 59% of employees feel financial wellness benefits are more important now than ever before. Companies are taking notice and are using these benefits to help manage employee stress and attract and retain talent. 

But, as every HR leader is well aware, it’s not enough to simply offer these benefits—your employees have to use them. The good news: With the right strategies in place, you can significantly boost the utilization of your financial wellness programs. Here are 5 ideas to get started.

1. Establish basic financial literacy

Without a basic understanding of financial concepts, your employees won’t appreciate the value of your financial wellness offerings. Unfortunately, financial literacy remains low in the U.S., and only one-third of adults can answer at least four of five questions on fundamental concepts such as mortgages, interest rates, inflation, and risk. Below are tactics to help your workforce improve their financial literacy

  • Invite a speaker to address basic financial concepts, such as budgeting and investing.
  • Host a monthly workshop to review your employees’ common financial questions regarding their personal finances.
  • Design an easy-to-read content series that breaks down critical financial topics, .
  • Send out a list of recommended blogs, books, or podcasts to help employees educate themselves.

2. Craft a diverse communication strategy

When it comes to communicating your benefits, you have to meet your employees where they are. This is especially important if you have more than one office location or have a hybrid workforce. 

For instance, if you have some employees who work remotely and others who work at a manufacturing site, you don't want to rely solely on emails or Slack messages to promote your financial wellness benefits. 

The employees who work at the job site can't regularly check their inboxes and could miss your messages. Instead, it may make more sense to use physical brochures or in-person sessions to reach that segment of your workforce. 

3. Be consistent with employee communications

Many companies will invest in an elaborate, week-long launch plan for their financial wellness benefits—then never bring them up again. Don’t assume your employees will remember all the benefits you offer. Instead, schedule reminders throughout the year to keep your offerings top of mind for your workforce. Here’s an example of a schedule you can use: 

Monthly

  • Send a short automated reminder through Slack or email about financial wellness benefits offerings.

Quarterly

  • Conduct an in-depth review of one of your financial wellness benefits.
  • Host a financial wellness event that’s relevant to one of your benefits (for example, invite a speaker to share tips on how to use the budgeting app that you offer employees).

Yearly

  • Conduct an in-depth review of all your financial wellness benefits. 
  • Host a Q&A session for employees to ask questions about their financial wellness benefits.

4. Offer personalized guidance to employees

Everyone's financial situation is unique, which means a one-size-fits-all approach won't work for financial wellness benefits. That's why offering personalized guidance can be an added incentive for employees to engage with their benefits. 

You can provide this type of support by giving your employees the budget to connect with a financial professional. Or, a more cost-effective solution is to invest in financial wellness benefits that have personalized guidance baked into the product or service itself. For example, Origin users get access to our platform and receive one-on-one support from a network of Certified Financial Planners to navigate any financial goals or concerns—whether that’s managing their cash flow or understanding their equity compensation

5. Track program metrics (Bonus! This will help determine ROI)

To see whether your strategies are working, you have to measure progress over time. We encourage HR teams to keep tabs on the following metrics: 

  • Sign-up rates. Research what the average sign-up rate is for your specific financial wellness benefit. This provides a benchmark to help you gauge where your workforce is at. If your sign-up rates are low, that’s a signal that you need to invest more in raising visibility around the program. 
  • Engagement rates. You also want to make sure employees are engaging with your benefit beyond the initial sign-up. Specifically, how frequently are they logging in? Is their engagement meaningful or superficial? Many financial wellness platforms will have built-in analytics that can easily track this information for you. 
  • Employee feedback. Ultimately, these financial wellness benefits are for your employees. So you want to make sure they’re getting value out of them. Collect both qualitative and quantitative feedback to understand how your employees feel about the financial wellness offerings and identify potential areas for improvement. 

Don’t let the hard work that you put into your financial wellness program go to waste. With a thoughtful approach, you can significantly boost the utilization of your benefits and help your employees improve their financial health. 

If you want to learn how Origin helps companies support the financial wellness needs of their employees, request a demo

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Andrea Curry
Senior Content Marketing Manager