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Best practices for designing your financial wellness program

Get your financial wellness program started on the right foot with these 5 best practices

Best practices for designing your financial wellness program
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March 1, 2022

While every aspect of health is important—from mental to physical—it’s financial health that your employees feel the least in control of. It’s no surprise that the usage of financial wellness programs is at an all-time high. But if it’s your first time introducing this offering to your organization, you may feel uncertain about how to get started. We’ll share 5 best practices to help you design a successful financial wellness program in this post. 

5 best practices to keep in mind while designing your financial wellness program

1. Assess your employees’ needs

To design an effective financial wellness program, you have to understand the needs of your workforce. Rather than making assumptions, use an employee survey to collect quantitative and qualitative feedback. The responses can inform your decisions while designing your financial wellness program. 

For example, you may learn that most of your workforce has trouble with budgeting. In this scenario, it would make sense to introduce an offering that focuses on helping employees with their cash flow management. Or, if most of your employees are working toward a milestone—such as purchasing their first home or starting a family—they may want to speak with a financial professional to help them from a planning perspective. 

2. Identify your goals

You also want to start thinking about your goals for the financial wellness program. Your program goals should map to broader organizational objectives so that you can eventually prove the ROI of your investment. Here are a few examples of general goals you can work toward: 

  • To improve employee retention rates
  • To attract more candidates and fill your talent pipeline
  • To reduce the financial stress levels of employees feel 
  • To increase employee productivity by reducing financial stress

When identifying your goals, make sure they’re specific, measurable, and reasonable to set your program up for success. 

3. Decide on your offerings 

Based on your employee survey and goals, think about which financial wellness offerings make the most sense for your program. Below are a few options to consider: 

Budgeting and cash flow management

Knowing that 50% of employees spend more than they earn each month, a budgeting tool can be an excellent offering for your financial wellness program. Helping people track their cash flow over a period of time can uncover critical insights about their spending and saving habits. 

Financial professionals

Another popular financial wellness offering is to connect employees to financial professionals.  At Origin, we believe CFP® professionals are the most capable of providing holistic, personalized, and comprehensive guidance to your employees. As fiduciaries, they’re also legally obligated to give advice that best meets your employees’ needs.

Tax preparation 

Some financial wellness programs also offer tax guidance and filing services. This type of offering gives employees peace of mind by helping them navigate complex questions like: how do I approach remote work and taxation? Do I owe taxes on the equity I received this year? What would my taxes look like if I got married or bought a house? 

Equity compensation guidance

Equity compensation is becoming increasingly popular. More than 77% of employees find equity compensation an essential benefit. But understanding the ins and outs of equity—from the vesting schedules to the tax requirements—can be confusing for employees, which is why offering support in this area may be impactful. 

Can’t decide between all these offerings? Origin gives your employees access to all these services and more in our financial wellness platform. 

4. Craft a comprehensive communication plan

No matter how great your financial wellness program is, your employees won’t use it unless they understand how to utilize it and why it matters. This is where your communication plan is key. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind while crafting your strategy: 

  • Be clear. Finances can be an intimidating topic for employees, so stick to easy-to-understand words and stay away from jargon. Your benefits vendor should be able to help address your employees’ questions. 
  • Be concise. Again, you don’t want to scare employees away with dense emails or a full-day seminar about taxes. Instead, create short blog posts, FAQs, or one-pagers to address the most common questions people might have about your financial wellness program. 
  • Be consistent. Many companies will invest in an elaborate, week-long launch plan for their financial wellness program but fail to communicate with their employees for the rest of the year. Don’t assume your workforce will remember all the details of your offering. Instead, schedule touchpoints throughout the year to keep your financial wellness program top of mind for your employees.

5. Secure leadership buy-in

Once your financial wellness program is ready to launch, run it by all your key stakeholders—including your executives and managers. Why? Your leadership team will ultimately set the tone around financial wellness at your organization. 

For instance, if your CEO understands the value of your financial wellness program, they’ll be more likely to encourage employees to participate. Similarly, employees frequently turn to their managers when they have questions. The better educated your managers are about your financial wellness offering, the more likely your workers will sign up. 

Taking care of the financial well-being of your employees will only become more critical over the next few years. By following these 5 best practices, your financial wellness program will be off to a great start! If you’re curious to learn more about Origin’s holistic financial wellness platform, request a demo.

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