The work of supporting employee health and wellness has long been on the minds of concerned corporate executives everywhere. Healthy employees form the backbone of a thriving organization, so encouraging that state of wellbeing with competitive pay, flexible hours, and a roster of desirable benefits additionally encourages the survival of your company.
One crucial element to holistic employee health we are in the midst of uncovering lies along the financial line. Money and money-related problems are the top causes of stress in the United States: the American Psychological Association reports that 72 percent of Americans experience significant financial anxiety multiple times over the course of any given month. And this stress represents a significant cost to businesses in all industries, with an estimated total expense of around $300 billion per year.
So, investing in your employee’s financial wellbeing can save your company a very literal fortune in the long run. But how can you make it happen? Financial wellness companies are here to help.
What does ‘financial wellness’ mean?
Before we dive into the definition of a financial wellness company, let’s talk about the driving force behind their working mission.
‘Financial wellness’ is a blanket term describing the stability and security of myriad factors within a group’s or individual’s finances.
At its most basic, financial wellness means an adequate and healthy balance between one’s earnings, savings, and expenditure. In individual terms, the person will be earning an adequate amount which allows them to meet their day-to-day expenses, save for emergencies, invest in the future, and live within their own definition of comfort.
Financial wellness is not possible without a healthy wage – this is something for which the organization must take responsibility.
But the state of financial wellness is also the sense of safety and confidence that comes when an individual feels they are in control of their wealth. And cultivating financial wellness also requires some financial knowledge and discipline on the part of the individual, as well. Employees need to understand for example how to create and stick to a budget, how to save for emergencies, how to properly feed a retirement account, etc. This understanding allows individuals to make better financial choices and build the secure futures they want for themselves and their families.
What does a financial wellness company do?
It should come as no surprise that what financial wellness companies do is help your organization to cultivate financial wellbeing for the individuals within your workforce.
Modern financial wellness platforms work with the specific needs and objectives of your organization to create personalized programming that guides employees towards better financial understanding and practice. These programs can include:
Tools for budgeting and financial planning.
Tools for debt management and repayment strategy.
Dashboards for viewing and managing total compensation and expenditure.
Access to self-service pages, intelligent chatbots, and personal finance experts.
Access to financial education programming.
Access to program data for managers and program administrators.
Top-tier financial wellness companies will employ a combination of practical implements and educational and support features to help employees both learn more about their financial reality, and manage them with greater skill. The enduring goal is to build financial security and confidence for your employees to reduce stress and improve health, which can influence greater organizational statistics such as attendance, retention, and employee engagement.
How can a financial wellness company help you
First, a financial wellness company or solution will need to gain an understanding of your unique needs and goals as an organization. The same company can be equally functional for small businesses, large businesses, enterprise endeavors, and startups, however precise program application may change to address issues of scale and diversity.
Personalized financial education and tooling works to make the goal of financial wellness more accessible for your myriad employees. While many workers will share similar financial concerns, they may not all access the program in the same way or to the same end, and this is fine. Personal financial wellness may look different to different individuals, and a flexible platform will allow even large employee bases to reach this state, regardless of their personal definition.
Global industries recognize the impact which a lack of employee financial confidence, security, and understanding can have on a company: high turnover, poor attendance, poor engagement, and low productivity represent a massive business cost resulting from financial stress. But giving individualized access to financial education and support can help to reverse these statistics, cultivate financial wellness, reduce stress and improve the long term trajectory of your organization as a whole.
How to find a financial wellness company that has what you need
Not all financial wellness companies will be able to meet the exact requirements of your company. It’s important to do your research before you buy, and always keep the needs of your employees at top-of-mind – their financial wellness is what’s going to take your organization into the future.
The initial step must be to survey your employees and get a sense of what their most prominent financial wellness concerns and wishes might be. Send out an email questionnaire, pop a survey onto the employee portal, or solicit managers to collect answers from their direct-reports to glean this information. Purpose-built programs can work to address specific concerns in the case that surveys are heavily weighted towards a particular issue – keep in mind however that a more versatile program will be able to address these problems and more as your employees’ financial needs continue to evolve over time.
Origin is one financial wellness company that works to build holistic financial wellness by educating your workforce and providing targeted tools for better money management. Origin offers more implements and resources than most other financial wellness companies, including access to expert advice, total compensation perspective, equity management, tax help, financial planning, and more.