A 2019 OwlLabs survey shows that 68 percent of remote workers find employee wellness programs important, so finding ways to include this growing population is vital.1
With more employers offering financial wellness, it’s important to have a plan to engage these remote workers. Fortunately, there are ways to engage these key team members in employee financial wellness programs.
Since remote workers are not on-site and may not work the same hours as in-house employees, it is important that your employee financial wellness program offers flexibility in how it is accessed.
Include the ability to access your financial wellness program from home or even while traveling. Be sure that your program has 24-hour access to accommodate employees with differing schedules.
In a 2016 Workplace Benefits Report, Bank of America found that nearly a third of employees did not know if their company offered a financial wellness program.2 Remote workers are even less likely to know of offered benefits, including how to enroll and what the program offers.
Invitations for participation and reports of success should focus on the entire workforce and not just those in house. Work to make all communications applicable to workers wherever they are.
- Part of regular communications: Include information about your employee financial wellness program within your current communications, such as a company newsletter or weekly news via email.
- Company branded: No employee wants to feel like the financial wellness program is just an advertisement for financial products. Make sure that all communications have your personal company’s brand and that they address your employee’s unique needs.
- Personalized: Never start out written communication with “For Remote Workers.” Whenever a salutation is used, be sure to use the remote employee’s first name.
- Digitized reminders: Although in-house employees benefit from hearing about deadlines, challenges, programs, and offerings in-person at meetings or by reading a flyer on the break room bulletin board, remote workers don’t have that benefit. Be sure to send out digital reminders via email and/or text to all workers.
Having a detailed promotional plan is very important. For more on creating a promotional plan, read “5 Strategies to Help Increase Financial Wellness Program Participation” and “Financial Wellness Program Best Practices Guide”.
Organize Regular Get Togethers
Whenever possible, organizations with remote employees should plan on having all employees come to the central location. This helps remote employees feel like part of the team and allows for bonding. As part of the event, consider offering a financial wellness element:
- A sign-up drive
- A seminar
- A booth with financial wellness information
- A financial wellness challenge
- Opportunity to speak with a financial advisor
If you do not have the budget for bringing employees together, or the workforce is too spread out to make this work, consider having a virtual get together using video conferencing tools. Such an event, though not as hands on as an in-person event, can still create a feeling of inclusion and help remote employees become engaged in your financial wellness program.
Get Remote Worker Input
A successful financial wellness program is one that offers services and information that employees need and want. According to a Financial Education for Today’s Workforce survey3, the best way to have success is to start the program with a needs assessment that helps you understand the what, where, when and how:
- What: What are the needs and wants?
- Where: Where would they like to receive the information?
- When: When do they look for information?
- How: How do they want to receive their information?
Be sure that your remote workers are included in all assessment surveys. These employees may have different financial concerns than those in-house. Remote worker engagement will increase if the financial wellness program addresses those concerns. For more on creating a successful needs assessment, read “How to Survey Your Employees for Your Financial Wellness Program”.
Make It Fun
No one wants to listen to a boring lecture on 401Ks. Remote workers are far less likely to tune in to an event if they don’t see its value. Creating a financial wellness program with fun components will increase the engagement of your entire workforce. Studies show that gamification is especially effective:
- Participation increases by 100 percent or more when you add gamification4
- People gain 11 percent more knowledge and retain 9 percent more when learning through a game5
Be sure your program offers games and other compelling components such as:
- Financial behavior analysis
- Interactive tools
- Social or peer-to-peer tools
- Access to live counselors
Just because your remote workforce is out of sight, they should not be out of mind.