The search for the best new benefits companies can add to their packages can feel unending. Between standard benefits and a full range of their voluntary counterparts, there are many more options today than in times past. That being said, the one benefit every company should seriously consider adding for 2023 is the financial wellness benefit.
A financial wellness benefit is a voluntary benefit program that helps employees get their financial ducks in a row. It can take many forms including free financial planning, in-house financial seminars, etc. Adding a financial wellness benefit could pay off over the long run by improving productivity, reducing stress, and boosting morale.
Financial Issues Are Real
Encouraging companies to invest in financial wellness benefits is rooted in the fact that financial issues are real. We’ve now seen persistent inflation for more than a year. Prices have gone up considerably on everything from gas to groceries. Unfortunately, salaries haven’t kept up. Workers are forced to find ways to do more with less in their personal finances. Many are under extreme stress.
Stress over one’s personal finances is often related to wondering how one will make ends meet. Strangely enough, millennials and Gen Z workers have grown up without learning about financial responsibility. It’s not that they don’t want to manage their money, it’s that they don’t know how. Being taught would equip them with sound financial tools, thereby reducing some of their stress.
Employees Want Help from Their Employers
Even the suggestion of offering a financial wellness benefit puts some employers on the defensive. They may feel as though it is not their responsibility. Perhaps it’s not. But stressed-out workers are less productive workers. They are less healthy and less able to concentrate on their work because they are more worried about paying the bills.
Regardless of whose responsibility it is, it’s clear that employees want help from their employers. According to survey data compiled by Origin in late 2021, some 93% of U.S. employees want their employers to help them through some sort of financial wellness benefit.
The report also shows:
- 50% are either not confident or only somewhat confident in their own financial health
- 27% are stressed due to their housing costs
- 18% are stressed about their outstanding student loans
- 44% rely on the internet for financial management information.
While 93% of U.S. workers would like financial management help from their employers, just 28% of them get that help. That means there is a wide-open market waiting to be tapped into.
A Very Affordable Benefit
BenefitMall, a Dallas general agency that represents more than 100 carriers and offers broker services to thousands of benefit brokers around the country, says that financial wellness benefits are very affordable. They are voluntary benefits, so they can be added to a package without costing a company an arm and a leg.
Employers have long known that reducing employee stress makes for a better and more productive workplace. Over the years, they have tried numerous strategies to do just that. Now it is time to turn their attentions to personal finances. Very real financial problems are stressing American workers out. They need help dealing with those problems.
A financial wellness benefit gives companies the opportunity to come alongside their employees and help them in one of the most sensitive areas of their personal lives. By providing financial wellness assistance, employers not only help reduce stress levels, but they also show an interest in their employees as people rather than just human resources. Every employer with the means should consider adding financial wellness benefits in 2023.