The beginning of the new year is a monumental time for everyone. For many, it involves dreaming about new adventures on the horizon and moving on to new chapters in life. When the ball drops in Times Square, we turn over new leaves and begin chasing after new goals, or “resolutions” as we like to call them this time of year.
Resolutions vary from person to person and year to year, but a few prominent ones tend to stick around — one of them being to save more money. In fact, that was one of the three most popular resolutions for 2018!
It comes as no surprise that many of us take time to reflect on our finances during the new year, especially considering the type of extravagant spending the holiday season demands.
What’s particularly worrisome is financial burdens can touch every aspect of a person’s life, including their work. According to my research, outlined in my book The New Productivity Engine, a whopping 46 percent of employees spend 2-3 hours per week dealing with personal financial issues during work. The amount is even higher during the holiday season. Business leaders who fail to recognize this issue can experience severe blows to their bottom lines in the form of lost productivity, high turnover, and absenteeism. What do all these things have in common? They are all telltale signs of a company struggling to survive.
Financial Wellness Benefits Help Your Employees — and Your Company
For employers, the start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to recalibrate and ensure that the company’s culture and benefits package are aligned with employee wants and needs. To help employees take control of their finances, consider kicking off 2019 by offering your workers a holistic wellness program that includes financial wellness tools and resources. Not only will financial wellness be a boon to your employees, but it will also help you foster a less stress, more engaged, and more productive workforce. In short, everyone wins.
Before implementing such a program and weaving financial fitness into the company culture, organizational leaders must do a lot of careful thinking. A one-size-fits-all mentality cannot be applied here, as that would be counterproductive and ineffective. At this moment in time, there are no fewer than five generations represented in the workplace, and employees at different stages of life have vastly different financial needs. In order to appease everyone on your staff, you need to take a holistic, highly customizable approach to financial wellness.
While personal finance is an extremely important issue, it can be hard to get people motivated about it, especially those who live paycheck to paycheck with no end in sight. What can you, as an employer, do to get your employees excited about financial wellness?
Addressing issues like 401(k)s, benefit options, and debt management is a good starting point, but the key to successful implementation of a financial wellness program is providing engaging solutions to real-world problems based on proven results.
Financial wellness benefits, online resources, and consultation services are just a few ways to get employees thinking about their finances. Partnering with third parties is another way to expand your offerings and get employees the help they deserve. Additionally, incentives can keep employees focused and on track toward their financial management goals.
As with any company initiative, it is important to keep a finger on the pulse. Check in with employees to ensure they are aware of and utilizing all the benefits they have access to.
It is important to note that there is a heavy stigma around discussing financial issues. Employers must do their best to lift this stigma if they are to nurture environments of encouragement and support for employees. Connecting employees to the resources they need to resolve stressful financial situations can do wonders in alleviating the fear that often surrounds personal finance. In making these connections, companies can create frameworks that make it easier to assist other employees in need, thereby driving a positive cycle of aid and support.
On top of all this, a holistic financial wellness offering is a great employee recruiting and retention tool in today’s competitive job market.
So cheers to a new year, a blank slate, and another chance to do even better for our hard-working employees!
David Kilby is president of FinFit.