Is financial wellness missing from your benefits package?

Financial wellness programs can benefit employees and businesses by increasing peace of mind and removing external sources of stress from the workplace.

Financial wellness is a key consideration for employees and executives, from the newest hire to company leadership. Offering educational resources and guidance related to financial wellness can help employees feel more secure in terms of their money management, which can translate into more positive and engaged performance on the job.

"In a competitive candidate market, employers should be constantly looking for ways to improve their employee benefits," says Matt Shannon, Senior Managing Consultant of Beacon Hill's Financial Division in Boston. "Financial wellness programs are excellent resources for employees and provide additional opportunity for companies to extend resources and improve employee quality of life."

Let's look at what financial wellness is and how businesses can incorporate offerings related to it into their benefits packages.

A close up of a person making a financial plan while sitting at a desk.

What is financial wellness?

Personal wellness refers to making positive decisions that lead to a healthy and enjoyable life, as the University of California, Davis pointed out. Financial wellness takes the same basic principle and applies it to money management in particular.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defined three key concepts related to financial wellness: successfully addressing financial obligations, a sense of security tied to long-term finances and the capacity to make positive decisions that enhance general well-being. Setting and following financial goals, effective management of finances and having an emergency fund to address an unexpected expense are all key elements of sustainable financial wellness. Financial wellness helps individuals feel more empowered and in control of their finances, addressing a common source of worry for people of all ages.

Why should my company offer financial wellness guidance and support to staff?

A 2023 survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers found financial issues and other concerns related to money are by far the most common cause of stress for working adults. This problem was cited by 57% of workers. No other common concerns, ranging from direct job-related issues to personal relationships and health worries, topped 20%.

Employees who are unsure about their finances, struggling to manage their bills or don't feel in control of the money they earn can easily become distracted. This can lead to reduced performance and more inconsistency while on the job. To address this surprisingly common issue, businesses can turn to financial wellness offerings as part of a benefits package.

How can businesses offer financial wellness benefits to employees?

Financial wellness is a relatively mature concept in the world of employee benefits. A variety of companies, from the previously mentioned PwC to many other large and small organizations, offer these services as an element to include in benefits plans alongside offerings like health insurance. The process for selecting a provider is similar to the established best practices for many other benefits: business leaders, HR staff and other stakeholders should determine a budget, research potential providers, request information and quotes from them, then deliberate on the best choice for the company's needs.

An in-house approach may make sense to companies at first, especially if the organization has a strong background in financial management and similar competencies. However, employees may feel reluctant to take advantage of a financial wellness offering if they have to share sensitive personal information with coworkers. In most cases, working with an outside provider is the most prudent choice.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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