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Protect employers and their employees with financial wellness

By: Joe Goolsby, Regional Sales Director, Midwest

Today’s employees face more distractions at work than ever. They’ve got a steady stream of work email, their cellphones are never far away and the internet is often right at their fingertips. When you factor in their personal lives and, increasingly, their financial challenges, it’s easy to see how all the distractions can impact productivity. 

Given the situation, more and more employers are looking at offering financial wellness programs to protect employees and improve workplace productivity. This kind of education also opens the door to voluntary benefits which can further enhance financial security and help protect an employee’s finances.

Distracted at work

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of adults report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time.1 This financial stress can take a toll on productivity, with 37 percent of HR managers indicating that employees miss work because of financial emergencies.2 It’s not just about missing work either, stress from financial concerns can pull people away from their desks, affect sleep and, generally is a distraction that impacts the quality of work and amount of production from employees.

Financial wellness programs

It’s not much of a surprise, that with these challenges, many employers are placing an emphasis on financial wellness for employees. Nearly 60 percent of employers say they are very likely to focus on improving the financial well-being of their workers this year. This is a big jump from 30 percent of employers who indicated they would do so in 2014.3

The obvious reason for doing this is, simply put, the employees need the help. With so many stressed about their finances, employees need help with everything from retirement planning, to college saving to debt reduction. And, many companies have seen these programs work; one such company reduced their consumer-credit debt by a combined $2.8 million and saved $1.4 million in emergency money.3

Of course, financial wellness also has to work for employers as well. Fortunately, studies have found that companies can expect to receive $1 to $3 in their ROI for every dollar spent on a financial wellness program.4 Reducing employee stress about their finances yields results. Not to mention, offering financial wellness programs will help to attract and retain employees which is another cost-saver for employers.

Voluntary benefits make sense as part of the plan

For employers looking to protect employees and boost productivity by improving their financial wellness, voluntary benefits can also factor into the equation. With the growing prevalence of high-deductible health plans and rising out-of-pocket costs, it makes sense to offer the added financial protection and customization of voluntary benefits. Voluntary protection also dovetails nicely with the education employees will receive about a complete picture of financial wellness.

Listening to our employer and employee customers tells us that there’s a growing need for financial wellness. Both for employees looking to protect themselves and employers looking to increase productivity in the workplace a financial wellness program, complemented with voluntary benefits, is a simple, turnkey solution to address this need.

1 Stress in America: Paying with Our Health. American Psychological Association. 2015.
2 Financial Stress and Employee Absenteeism. SHRM. 2014.
3 “The Latest Office Perk: Help Managing Your Financial Life”. Wall Street Journal. 2017.
4 “Why employers must double down on financial wellness”. Employee Benefit News. 2016.