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Closing the Gap: Financial Wellness, Employee Wellbeing and Your Bottom Line

The statistics are alarming. Sixty-one percent of employees in the U.S. are living paycheck to paycheck—and it’s not just low-wage earners.

Thirty percent of employees earning higher incomes – more than $100,000 annually – also feel they are under financial stress. In addition, over thirty-five percent report having no savings, and almost forty percent are not actively putting any money into a retirement savings plan. For employers, the answer to helping decrease this percentage is not simply to increase employee paychecks; the answer lies in educating employees on financial wellness.

In the workplace, financial issues negatively affect employees more than smoking and obesity combined, which leaves a real impact on a business’s bottom line. Studies show that financial stress tangibly reduces employee productivity and performance. It’s becoming more and more common for employees to continue working past the standard age for retirement; an unfortunate trend that also impacts employers by increasing costs on many levels that ultimately impact business.

A 2016 SHRM Employee Benefits survey indicates that only six percent of working employees believe their employer is doing something to help support their financial wellbeing. So, how can employers effectively respond to these needs?

There are many free applications and tools available for employers to choose from to offer their employees that provide financial education and literacy. One leading application is called “EveryDollar.” “EveryDollar” is a basic, mobile budgeting tool that allows the user to input their monthly income and plan their expenses for the month. It then creates a customized, interactive dashboard for the user to be able to track their spending and follow a monthly budget. Another resourceful website is Practical Money Skills, a robust site which provides financial literacy for everyone. This tool has resources and interactive features to help the user plan for every type of life event, including how-to’s for creating an emergency fund, tracking lunch expenses, buying a car, budgeting for college, and planning to buy a home, etc.

Additionally, employers can also utilize relationships with outside partners to bring educational sessions into the workplace. Webinars, lunch-and-learns and other video-based learning and self-assessment tools that educate and drive action have been proven as successful way to build and reinforce the fundamentals of financial wellness. Providing financial wellness programs to help drive engagement, productivity and success engenders increased employee loyalty and connection, a “win-win” for all.

At OneDigital, we are continually helping our clients educate their employees’ on best practices to address their financial needs. Find out how to incorporate financial wellness at your organization and contact your local OneDigital consultant today.