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smiling employees meeting about well being benefits

Last Update: May 15, 2023

Alight’s 2020 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing1 found that financial well-being programs made the top of the employer list. In fact a majority of employers plan to:

  • Expand financial initiatives to include more than retirement planning
  • Get started in the coming year

Three out of five employers see financial well-being programs as more important now than in the past, and four out of five believe that offering financial wellness to employees is the right thing to do. 

Financial Wellness Benefits Employers, Too

Of course, there are many reasons to offer financial wellness beyond altruism. For example, The Harvard Business Review2 found that employers lose 47 hours per worker per year in absenteeism and presenteeism.

A GCC study found that the cost of presenteeism is ten times the cost of absenteeism, which is estimated to be $2,660 per employee per year3,4.

That means the two combined cost companies almost $30,000 per employee per year.

Unfortunately, the costs of financial stress do not stop there. Other employer costs include:

  • Turnover: The average cost to replace an employee is $15,0005
  • Accidents: Stress-related accidents are twice as costly as non-stress-related accidents6
  • Healthcare: Financially stressed employees have about twice the healthcare costs of those without stress7
  • Late Retirement: Employees who are not financially ready to retire push workforce costs up 1 to 1.5%8

Employers Are Making Changes

Whether for altruism or the bottom line, employers are making changes to their financial wellness programs.

Instead of focusing solely on retirement, employers now believe they should help employees across a wide range of financial topics.

In addition to traditional topics such as retirement and insurance, employers now consider offering education on topics such as:

  • Budgeting
  • Healthcare education
  • Financial planning
  • Emergency savings
  • Debt management
  • Credit score management
  • Student loans
  • Estate planning
  • Identity theft

One of the most important changes, however, is not what is being offered, but how financial wellness is being seen.

Three out of four employers1 consider the well-being of their employees, with financial wellness as a pillar along with physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. For these employers, financial wellness is no longer a stand-alone benefit.

Here are three initiatives employers use to connect current well-being benefits.

#1: Create One Portal

Imagine what would happen if an employee had to create a username and password for a healthcare program, a financial wellness program, a mental wellness program, and a retirement savings program.

Making the sign-on process difficult is a sure way to limit the number of employees using the offered benefits.

Instead, create a single sign-on (SSO) for all your wellness initiatives. Not only will this make it easy for employees, but doing so will help employees see the link between the different wellness measures. 

This is possible even when different wellness programs are offered by different platforms. The point is to make it feel the same to employees.

In addition to SSO, consider matching the branding of each wellness initiative. 

A good way to encourage employees to sign up for the portal is to include information about signing up in:

  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Banners or graphics on every internal page of your website and/or work platform

#2: Integrate Content and Communication

It makes no sense to have separate communications about different aspects of wellness, nor does it make sense for content about one aspect to never mention another.

Just as you want it to be easy for employees to sign up using an SSO, you will want to make it easy for employees to get information about and see the link between the different wellness options.

As you link the different pillars of employee wellness in communications and content, employees will begin to link them as well.

Plus, as the Enrich Financial Wellness Best Practices Guide found, offering crossover content drives employee engagement. 

Some crossover content can include:

#3: Combine Enrollments and Elections

Most employees are aware of the annual healthcare enrollment and look for communications from their employers each year. However, they also have to be on the lookout for defined contribution plan elections and other benefits elections and enrollments.

Employees are more likely to forget, misplace, or even become overwhelmed when inundated with different elections.

A great way to integrate wellness is to allow for elections and enrollments to happen at one time. As an employee selects their healthcare for the year, they can also make their elections for retirement, and enroll in wellness programs. 

When integrating wellness benefits, always try to make it as easy as possible for employees to:

  • Enroll
  • Find information
  • Participate

To find out how the Enrich Financial Wellness platform can help you integrate all your wellness programs and be customized to meet your company's goals, request a demo.



1 - https://www.alight.com/getmedia/ee6a29c7-40e4-460d-86a5-a2f40e9cd662/2020-Hot-Topics-in-Retirement-final.pdf 

2 - https://hbr.org/2004/10/presenteeism-at-work-but-out-of-it

3 - https://www.circadian.com/blog/item/43-shift-work-absenteeism-the-bottom-line-killer.html  

4 - https://gccmarketing.blob.core.windows.net/marketing-site/marketo/resources/presenteeism/us-presenteeism-whitepaper.pdf 

5 - https://info.workinstitute.com/hubfs/2020%20Retention%20Report/Work%20Institutes%202020%20Retention%20Report.pdf

6 - https://www.uml.edu/research/cph-new/worker/stress-at-work/financial-costs.aspx

7 - https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/default.html

8 - https://www.prudential.com/corporate-insights/employers-should-care-cost-delayed-retirements

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