The importance of financial wellness can be summed up simply. Most people stress about money, but many business leaders don’t acknowledge an important fact: Most people stress about money at work.
Chances are you already know this. You followed the trends, listened to your team members and came to an understanding that financial well-being remains critical to the well-being of your business. But now? Now, you just need to convince everyone else. (It may not be easy, but you also know that the best changes rarely are.)
Let’s run through two steps to help you sway your fellow leaders of the importance of financial wellness.
Step 1: Outline the financial wellness picture
Lead with data to get your colleagues’ attention. For starters, you could identify how 9 in 10 of your employees—right now—feel stressed about their finances. From there, you could point to data to show how these financially-stressed employees (aka the majority of your workforce) affect your company.
Financially-stressed employees are more likely to:
- Quit. Financially-stressed employees are twice as likely to look elsewhere for another job.
- Not show up. Academic research found that employees with higher levels of economic stress show higher levels of absenteeism AND a decrease in innovative behaviors.
- Be unproductive. Of stressed employees, 76% say financial worries have had a negative impact on their productivity.
- Lose you money. The American Psychological Association estimates that the cost of employee stress costs employers $300 billion annually.
But your company could be different — by investing in financial wellness.
Financially-well companies are more likely to:
- Reduce attrition. Now, 84% of employers say that offering financial wellness tools can help reduce employee attrition.
- Attract top talent. A polled 81% of employers say wellness tools help attract higher-quality employees.
- Improve productivity. Out of employers who broaden their wellness programs to include mental and physical wellness resources, 50% see noticeable improvements in productivity.
- Increase morale. Out of that same pool of employers broadening their wellness programs and physical and wellness resources, 41% note noticeable improvements in employee morale.
- Boost innovation. Of that same group of employers, 36% indicate noticeable improvements in creativity and innovation.
- Increase loyalty. At least 72% of employees say that a financial wellness program improves their company loyalty.
- Meet employee expectations. A majority (88%) of employees expect employers to support them with their finances.
The data makes it clear that financial wellness provides employee benefits that benefit your business. Now, for step two, what actually makes a company financially healthy?
Step 2: Color in your financial wellness picture
A financially-well company is one where employees feel supported, valued and financially secure. Many leaders may point to robust 401k plans, reimbursements or stipends and educational content in provider portals and say they already provide plenty of financial well-being options.
But here’s what you can ask those leaders.
What good are financial tools if they’re not actually the ones an employee needs, they don’t target the source of money woes or employees don’t know how to—or can’t—take advantage of them?
You can also tell them that more U.S. adults demonstrated a very low level of financial literacy in 2022 than in any previous year. With that in mind, the right financial tools must be accessible to all employees, ensuring anyone can make the most use of them.
You see, the key to making a difference in your employees’ financial wellness demands doing something different.
You can do something different by uncovering the root causes of your workforce’s financial stress — and identifying targeted solutions from there. Start by getting to know not only what your employees want but also their struggles, worries, and any financial blockers.
With insight from your employee base, you can begin to empower your people with personalized financial tools (such as coaching and community groups), so they can thrive in and out of the workplace. Over time, you may just find that your financial empowerment becomes your company’s greatest business advantage.
And whenever you’re in doubt, go back to the data. As we know, nearly 3 in 4 employees already feel stressed about their finances; let’s not let it get to 4 out of 4 before taking action.
Questis will be here when you’re ready to take action. We will help uncover the root causes of your workforce’s financial stress—and help fix it—so that you can put your focus where it’s needed most. When it comes to financial wellness, leave the heavy lifting with us.