One of the vital functions of a Human Resources professional is to be responsible for promoting the enrollment of employees into programs that provide long and even short-term financial stability. With the hyper competitive marketplace, retaining a valued employee – or attracting new talent – may well rest on the organization’s benefits plan and yet all too often workers don’t take full advantage of all that’s offered.
When resources focus on available financial products: HSA, or retirement programs (401k, or 403b, etc.) they ultimately empower employees to create their own customized financial action plan by taking advantage and enrolling in these benefits… but, why aren’t they?
There could be a wide variety of reasons that employees might not engage in their organization’s financial products, anything from lack of understanding, to possibly having investments placed elsewhere with a spouse or partner. The bottom line is that HR may never know the reasons why; but can take key steps to create ways to maximize their employee investment.
I’ll let you in on a little secret from the financial counselor’s chair: All too often I hear from clients that everyday work/life challenges keep them from diving deeper into shoring up a better financial wellness. Or, that offering a one-time tutorial on all the Benefits available to employees during Open Enrollment season isn’t enough, it’s too complex. They just don’t get it. Employees have expressed fear, guilt and shame around retirement due to a fear of looking like they don’t know things that they perceive they should. This reflects in the data too, the overall financial literacy rates in the United States are abysmally low. For example: People ages 18-34 had the sharpest drop in ability to answer basic financial questions correctly in 2018, with only 17% polled answering appropriately. (FINRA Investor Education Foundation)
The outcomes are played out in real life. Money stresses, as many HR professionals know, can lead to health problems and a lack of productivity in the workforce. According to a Prudential report, 40% of workers experienced mental health or general health problems due to financial stress, leading to an average annual increase in healthcare costs of $400 per employee. Three in ten workers say financial stress impacts their job performance and the average employee spent 3.6 hours per week managing personal finance issues at work.
Isolating two perceptions is critical when understanding the financial wellness needs of an employee: 1) Having an awareness of common financial dynamics present that might prohibit taking advantage of long-term retirement options, and 2) How can organizations think differently about financial wellness when communicating their financial products and resources?
This 30-minute webinar will provide insights from a certified personal financial counselor that will provide clarity around common dynamics that may prohibit employees from digging deeper into their financial future.
Want to learn more? Join us for a FREE webinar on Wednesday, February 19th (11am-11:30am EST)!