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How Self-Service Options Can Enhance Employee Financial Wellness Programs

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Last Update: January 15, 2024

On the path to success, employee stress is an all-too-common obstacle to overcome. The strains of daily work, combined with life's financial challenges, can leave even the most resilient professionals feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders.

Fortunately, there's a significant shift in mindset among today's workforce – towards embracing help and guidance. In fact, 74% of employees now express a clear desire for financial coaching when it comes to making key financial decisions, navigating crises, or managing major life events.1

There's also been a shift toward eliminating the baggage of embarrassment or stigma. Employees today are increasingly open to seeking advice about their financial well-being. The newfound openness suggests that employees fully realize the importance of taking control of their finances and building resilience.

Yet, simply having a financial wellness program in place may not be enough to fulfill these aspirations. This is where our guide steps in – to show you how self-service options can be a game-changer in the effort to enhance financial wellness programs. 

It's time to put some power into the hands of your employees – because when they thrive, so does your business.

Defining Financial Wellness Programs

Nowadays, financial wellness goes beyond having a comfortable paycheck. This encompasses managing your finances effectively, reducing financial stress, and making informed decisions about money.

Ideally, financial wellness programs aim to help employees achieve a sense of financial stability and security. This matters because financial wellness is tightly woven into the fabric of employee well-being and job performance.

When employees are worried about their financial situation, it can lead to stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact their productivity, engagement, and even their physical and mental health.

Where are Financial Wellness Programs Falling Short?

It's not uncommon, and is actually encouraged, to gauge the impact of your financial wellness programs – but you notice a decline. Only about 40% of employees report feeling holistically healthy, with both mental and financial health taking a hit over the past several years.2

A key area where financial wellness programs often fall short is the absence of self-service options. The lack of user-friendly, accessible tools can impede employees' ability to manage their financial well-being on their terms, which can impact the overall effectiveness of these programs.

Older workers, for example, are increasingly looking for more control and personalized guidance in addition to employee retirement savings. Incorporating self-service options is a vital step in meeting their specific needs and empowering them to make informed financial decisions.

For financial wellness programs to have a lasting impact, they need to be more than just a box to tick on the benefits list. They should inspire employees to take control of their financial destinies, motivate them to make better financial choices, and ultimately lead them to a state of true financial well-being. 

Self-Service Options for Financial Empowerment

Financial wellness programs are increasingly embracing self-service options, providing employees with the tools they need to take control of their financial well-being. 

These options range from educational resources to interactive communication and user-driven account management, all designed to cater to diverse preferences and needs.

Financial Education:

  • On-demand online lessons covering various financial topics
  • Access to educational tools, such as tutorials, videos, and articles
  • Knowledge bases with searchable databases of topics and articles

Interactive Communication:

  • Access to live representatives by phone for personalized assistance
  • Building a personal financial advisory relationship for in-depth guidance
  • Referral processes to connect employees with local financial advisors

User-Driven Account Management:

  • Account management capabilities for clients to control their own financial accounts.
  • Exchange of personal data, financial goals, risk tolerance, and investing preferences
  • Collaboration on financial planning inputs and "what if" scenarios

Social Interaction:

  • Participation in social media forums that encourage knowledge exchange among clients

The goal of self-service options is to give employees autonomy, enabling them to make informed financial decisions at their own pace and convenience. More than half of employees (59%) who have easy access to various financial wellness options report that they are satisfied with their employers' benefits.3

This not only boosts their confidence but also equips them with the skills to manage their finances more effectively.

Best Practices for Developing Comprehensive Financial Wellness

Fostering a thriving workforce is about more than just salaries and benefits. It's about recognizing that the financial well-being of your employees directly affects their performance and satisfaction.

A comprehensive financial wellness program can transform your organization as a whole. However, implementing them effectively is the key.

To set the stage, here are a few best practices to consider.

  • Assess Employee Needs: Conduct surveys, interviews, and assessments to identify the financial pain points and goals of your employees. Tailor your program to address these specific challenges and aspirations.
  • Offer a Diverse Range of Resources: A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Provide a diverse range of resources, from financial education and self-service tools to access to experts and advisors.
  • Promote Holistic Well-Being: Your program should integrate with other wellness initiatives and offer support for stress management, mental health, and physical well-being, creating a holistic approach to employee health.
  • Customize and Personalize: Enable customization and personalization in your program to cater to individual goals and circumstances. This might include tools for setting savings goals, investment advice tailored to risk tolerance, or debt management plans.
  • Measure and Adjust: Implement metrics to track the impact of your financial wellness program. Regularly assess its effectiveness and be ready to adjust based on the feedback and results.
  • Education and Communication: Regularly inform your employees about the program, the resources available, and how to access them. Encourage ongoing learning and provide clear channels for questions and support.

Following these best practices can lead to a more motivated, empowered, and financially secure workforce, contributing to your organization's success.

Final Thoughts

Financial wellness isn't just a perk. This has become a necessity for employees. In order to meet this demand, self-service options are the way to go in empowering your team.

To truly unlock the potential of your financial wellness initiatives, consider integrating your efforts with Enrich's Employee Financial Wellness Program.

With its suite of intuitive tools and personalized guidance, Enrich empowers both employers and employees to navigate the intricate world of personal finance effortlessly.

Ready to revolutionize your financial wellness approach? Request a demo today and see how Enrich can elevate your workforce's financial well-being and drive success for your organization. 

1 - https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/business-transformation/library/employee-financial-wellness-survey.html

2 - https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/employee-financial-wellness-drops-to-new-low-bank-of-america-report.aspx

3 - http://news.prudential.com/content/1209/files/PrudentialWellnessProgramsCensus.pdf

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