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Last Update: June 7, 2021

A good benefits package is a key way to attract high-quality workers to any business.

Things like health care and 401(k)s are standard.

But employer-provided financial wellness programs are becoming more and more popular as an employee benefit.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for such programs has grown.

63% of employees say that their financial stress has increased since the start of the pandemic. That makes it all the more important for employers to address that stress. Especially since up to 72% of employees would be attracted to a different company that cares more about their financial wellness.1

In addition to helping employee retention, addressing financial stress can help a business’s productivity and employee satisfaction.

Overall, it is just good for the bottom line - as shown in this ROI calculation.

But how does an organization make its financial wellness program stand out?

How to keep it from fading into the background with other benefits like healthcare or free pizza Fridays?

Employees are focused on their financial health, so an employer needs to make it clear that they are, too.

Here are three keys to making your financial wellness program shine. 

1. Make it rewarding!

Incentives are the oldest trick in the book for attracting attention. They can be anything from a certificate of completion to a monetary reward.

There are two main types of incentives: effort incentives and outcome incentives.2

Effort incentives focus on the act of starting a task. An effort incentive would be offering a free lunch for enrolling on the financial wellness program’s website. Or a gift card for attending an online or in-person counseling session. Cash can be given out for interacting with the wellness program in various ways to spur people to get involved.

Outcome incentives focus, of course, on obtaining a certain outcome. One possibility would be to offer a reward for improved financial behaviors like improving a credit score. Outcome incentives can be much longer term. Rewards may be offered at different intervals for continued improvements. A point system can be used, wherein the worker can accumulate points over time and redeem them for prizes.

2. Personalize it!

One main reason people do not participate in financial wellness programs is there is a disconnect in goals.

What employers think their employees want is different from what they actually want.

Employers tend to focus on the tactics of financial wellness. The workers are more focused on their actual goals.

Some reasons cited for not participating in a workplace financial wellness program were “Don’t offer services of interest to me” and “Want more personalized help.”3

A financial wellness program should cater to individuals in different circumstances. Personalization can turn your financial wellness program into the star component in your benefits package.

A good program will have components like a financial behavior analysis or spending assessment. These help a worker assess the areas where they need the most help. This can improve engagement and make the benefit useful in a real-world sense.

To learn more on how to assess employees needs, check out How to Survey Your Employees for Your Financial Wellness Program.

3. Make it fun!

Like incentives, gamification can add the pop and pizzazz your financial wellness program needs to make it stand out.

Studies have shown that adding a layer of competition to everyday activities makes most people pay more attention to their behaviors.

Simple things like leaderboards and public badges can help increase engagement up to 150%.4

Gamification can take your financial wellness program from something mundane to the talk of the office. So who is at the top of the leaderboard today?

Overall, employees are eager for the opportunity to take part in a financial wellness program. 86% say they are very or somewhat likely to participate if their workplace offered a financial wellness program.3

Just offering a program is a step in the right direction, but employers would benefit from making their financial wellness program stand out.

The pandemic has pushed financial wellness further into the spotlight than ever before. Employees want to know that their financial health matters to their employers, but only 44% feel that it does.5

Emphasizing an employer-sponsored financial wellness program as a benefit makes workers feel cared for.

The benefits of financial health stretch beyond the employee. Workers who are not stressed about their money are less distracted at work, less likely to leave for another employer, and often have lower health care costs.3

Focusing on a financial wellness program as a key benefit is a win-win situation for employers and workers alike.




1 - https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/workforce-of-the-future/library/employee-financial-wellness-survey.html

2 - https://medikeeper.com/blog/strategies-increase-employee-participation/

3 - https://www.benefitplans.baml.com/publish/content/application/pdf/GWMOL/2018WorkplaceBenefitsReport_ARSRJR96.pdf

4 - https://www.snipp.com/blog/2017-06-21/the-power-of-gamification-participation-engagement-loyalty

5 - https://www.theexperience.work/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pwc-2019-employee-wellness-survey.pdf

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