The past five years have seen a generous increase of financial wellness trends in the workplace. Still, in the wake of pandemic, economic uncertainty, and the Great Resignation, this trend among employers and workers alike has proliferated.
Employees are now gravitating toward companies with cultural mottos that sound more like “I have your back”, instead of “Leave your problems at the door”. It’s no surprise that those problems are: financial stress over any other for more than half of the U.S. workers.
As a result, employees lean toward companies with a modern and robust benefits package that serves holistic care, including financial wellness. Employers look to benefits providers for innovative and comprehensive plans that address the new needs of workers from physical and mental health to building a solid and secure financial foundation.
With employees leaving jobs in record numbers, employers clamor to find something that will keep their attention. Suppose the significant concerns for workers are how to bear expenses and make the most of their earnings. In that case, it’s safe to say you can capture their attention by promoting financial wellness in the workplace and as part of your benefits offering.
If you listen to the unique needs of your team, leverage employee benefits, and promote ongoing financial learning, your company will see positive changes in employee retention and talent acquisition in 2022 and beyond.
Here are three actions you can take now to attract talent by promoting financial wellness.
Action #1: Listen
It’s so simple, yet so often overlooked: listen to your employees and their concerns before you make any adjustments to your employee benefits options. There’s no better way to find out what your employees need than to ask them directly and listen to their answers.
One of the most effective ways to collect this information from your workers is to offer a well-written, well-planned (and often anonymous) employee survey to gather feedback about current benefits options and other resources employees would appreciate and utilize.
Tools available through your current benefits provider, HR departments, and online will help you plan a survey that captures all the necessary feedback to sculpt a financial wellness package that will genuinely benefit your unique group of workers.
Begin your survey process at the mark of a new quarter or new year, and provide ample time for employees to respond. Keep in mind that individuals may take time to review their current benefits on their own time before responding, so if you want honest, useful feedback, allow 2-4 weeks for responses to come back.
Collecting the information is crucial, but analyzing it, is the key to planning a robust offering for employees. Part of listening to your employees is studying what they’ve said so be sure that time goes into understanding your survey results. When you set a time to examine your existing benefits plan with your provider, bring the survey results so your representative can create a plan that will fit the unique needs of your business and your employees.
95% of HR execs say a re-evaluation of their company’s financial benefits package is a top priority for 2022.
Action #2: Leverage
Arguably the most crucial action to take, leveraging existing benefits can attract new talent to the table. Whether you’re updating your benefits package or sticking with the one you currently have, make sure to leverage the entirety of it. Maximize every facet and tidbit to the fullest and make sure your workers are aware of all the benefits and perks available to them.
There are some benefits that businesses are required by law to offer employees, such as Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation, but it’s the non-mandatory benefits that attract workers. This is where holistic financial wellness enters the workplace. You can leverage a modern benefits package to attract and retain high-quality talent, and your talent can leverage benefits to attain financial wellness.
(91%) say they’d feel more invested in staying with their employer if offered financial benefits that met their needs.
What does a progressive benefits package look like? It will depend on the unique needs of your team and your business, but here are some of the most popular components of a modern benefits plan that supports holistic financial wellness:
Comprehensive Health Insurance
Employees want physical protection for themselves and their families so health insurance continues to be a massive deciding factor as workers leave jobs in search of greener pastures. Comprehensive coverage will address the needs like health insurance, vision, dental, and mental health services.
Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are savings accounts, but used by employees only for the purpose of healthcare expenses. Each participating employee sets up an HSA and sets the dollar amount to be set aside for each pay period. The money deposited into an HSA is not taxed, and in fact can pay or invest unused money, from which the earnings are also tax-free. Employers can contribute to an employee’s HSA, but the money in that account is under the employee’s ownership and control and it does go with them if they leave.
Retirement Savings Options
It’s common to find a 401k plan rolled into a corporate benefits package and if it’s not part of yours, it should be one of the major questions you have for your provider when you meet. These plans are set up through employers and allow workers to contribute to retirement savings accounts each pay period, and it’s tax-free. Employers can make this option more attractive by offering 401k-matching, wherein, you match the employee’s deposit (or a percentage of it) into the account in contribution.
One of the most popular non-traditional benefits options you can offer employees is Earned-Wage Access (EWA), also known as On-Demand Pay. This service costs employers nothing to set up and doesn’t interfere with HR or payroll. This service allows workers to access the wages they’ve earned before payday, instantly, for a fee comparable to an ATM withdrawal. Employers don’t provide the early funding; the service does that all on its own, seamlessly and automatically. Please find out how to offer this service to your employees at Orbispay.me.
Employee Assistance Programs
We all hit hard times at some time and this can impact employee performance in myriad significant ways. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) let your workers know their employer offers care and support during those hard times. EAPs offer an array of services and resources for those struggling with debt, physical or mental well-being, legal issues, and addiction.
Action #3: Learn
Don’t stop with the “Lunch and Learn” session. So much more can be done to ensure employees are learning to become financially fit and resilient. Explore with your provider supplemental benefits and perks that promote financial literacy and financial wellness. This might be access to online classes or workshops, tools, apps, local events, keynote speaker events, and resources exclusively and free or at a discount.
Some businesses are taking a more transparent approach and sharing the company’s financial plan to employees, explaining that plan, and answering questions about it. This cultivates a high degree of trust and loyalty, but it also provides an opportunity for employees to expand financial awareness, concepts, and practices that can greatly impact their financial literacy and well-being. Additionally, employers can set periodic company-wide challenges to promote savings or other financially fit initiatives. The reward is generally a financial one, in contribution or relevant to the final cause, but throughout the period of the challenge, it encourages healthy competition, positive financial focus, and a sense of rapport between company and employee.
Whether it comes from you or a third party (or both), there are many ways for you to win the hearts and minds of top talent simply by promoting ongoing education opportunities for employees to learn and implement ways to become more financially healthy and resilient.
In 2022 and in the coming years, comprehensive financial wellness options will remain a crucial deciding factor and a major concern for workers selecting long-term employment. Neglect this, and the effect is obvious: you will lose employees. With no financial resources to offer employees, you will eventually suffer a lack of employee focus and concentration, major interruption and absence from work, and panicked reactions that prompt workers to hastily jump ship in hopes of catching a life raft from another company. Nurture it, and employees will give full creative attention, perform effectively, engage with customers positively, and represent your business professionally. You will see loyalty and dedication to your company's mission and a strong ROI.
You can attract high-caliber workers and retain powerhouse employees by implementing financial wellness as part of your work culture. If you listen to your employees, leverage meaningful benefit options, and provide ongoing learning opportunities for your employees you’re sure to capture remarkable talent and maintain long and fruitful employee lifecycles.