Gen Z now makes up 25% of the U.S. workforce, and members of this generation are demanding that their employers provide financial wellness programs. Such programs can help provide employees of all ages with the confidence they need to make important financial decisions. Amid the ongoing “Great Resignation,” employees are in a position to pick the companies that best fit their needs. Employers that offer financial wellness benefits will make themselves more attractive to both prospective and current employees, and can help support various organizational goals and priorities.
Here are seven steps to successfully launch a financial wellness program for your employees:
- Establish organizational goals. At Financial Fitness for Life, we ask employers a series of questions and tailor a solution that makes sense for that organization. These questions include: “What are you hoping to achieve in providing this solution and is there a specific problem you are trying to solve?” Maybe you are interested in reduction voluntary turnover or reducing healthcare costs. By establishing organizational goals and priorities, you can ensure that your solution works for your business.
- Understand the financial wellness of your employees. We recommend conducting an anonymous survey of your employees to gauge their financial wellness and identify problems they’re facing or goals they are hoping to achieve. It isn’t uncommon for employers to have misconceptions about how their employees are doing financially and what their needs and wants are. Knowing the financial wellness of your employees is essential in constructing an effective solution that achieves intended levels of engagement.
- Evaluate your workforce. Is your workforce primarily remote or on-site? Answering questions like this will help you choose an appropriate delivery method for your solution. If you have a lively office atmosphere, you may want to host an in-office seminar. But if your employees generally work from home, an online option might be a better fit.
- Identify the metrics you want to measure. Remember those goals outlined in step one? You’ll also need to measure how effective the financial wellness program is in achieving them. Perhaps your top priorities are reducing turnover or attracting new talent. Whatever the targets may be, it’s important to identify which metrics you want to track before launching the program.
- Execute and communicate the launch. Communication about the launch should be compatible with workplace culture and your overarching organizational goals. Communicate in ways that will reliably reach your employees, such as emails, texts, fliers in the lunchroom, etc. You also need to craft the message in a way that resonates with employees, and determine which department will handle communication efforts. It’s also critical to get leadership buy-in and identify “program champions” and “location ambassadors” to act as advocates in promoting the solution.
- Measure the effectiveness. Your company is spending time and money to offer this solution, so you want to ensure a good return on investment. Financial Fitness for Life’s solutions offer data analytics and reporting that reveal which aspects of the program resonate with employees and which aspects of the program are and aren’t getting engagement. This allows you to identify the actions your employees have taken to improve their financial wellness. Additionally, using the metrics selected in step four will help you see how the program is helping to achieve your goals.
- Tweak and tailor the solution. Based on the data from step six, you can adjust the program and further tailor it to the specific needs of your employees. For example, if you have a module on Social Security but most of your employees are young and not engaging with it, you may consider removing that and focusing on features that better reflect their interests. Changes like this will help make the solution more appealing to your staff, and therefore achieve more of your organizational goals and priorities.
Research shows that employees need and desire financial wellness programs more than ever. Employers who embrace holistic financial wellness solutions typically enjoy increased employee morale and loyalty, lower health care costs, and an enhanced ability to attract top talent. But to see the full benefits of offering such a solution, employers need to ensure they prepare for and execute a successful launch. If you have any questions about how Financial Fitness for Life can aid your business, please feel free to contact us.
Christian Mango, AIFA | President