In recent years, HR has expanded its view of wellness to include financial health. Employers have found that helping individuals improve their financial health has a positive impact on productivity, absenteeism and engagement. However, many companies are unsure how to effectively address employee money issues. 

3 Ways to Use Data to Invest in Employees' Financial Health

In recent years, HR has expanded its view of wellness to include financial health. Employers have found that helping individuals improve their financial health has a positive impact on productivity, absenteeism and engagement. However, many companies are unsure how to effectively address employee money issues.

The insight employers need may be found by taking a closer look at their HR data. For example, what percentage of employees are taking advantage of the company’s 401(k) match? What about employee participation in other voluntary benefits?

With information provided by HR data, organizations can better understand employees’ financial struggles and strategically cater their education efforts to address these challenges.

Financial Stress Stat

The ripple effect of financial worries

Let’s first examine the state of financial wellness in our country. A 2014 Financial   Wellness at Work report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) investigated the impact of workplace financial wellness programs. Consider these statistics cited in the report: 

  • Seven out of 10 Americans claim financial stress is the most common type of stress they experience
  • Sixty-one percent of HR professionals blame financial stress for negatively impacting work performance
  • It is estimated that companies may be able to save $3 for every $1 they spend on financial wellness.

“Employee financial wellness is worth investing in. Many people were never taught how to manage their money, and employees are now looking to their employers to fill this knowledge gap. With the help of HR data, organizations can ensure that their financial wellness tactics are strategic and effective,” said Tracy Edgell-Horvath, financial consultant with Ceridian LifeWorks.

3 steps to investing in employees’ financial well-being

Financial Wellness StatEmployers have a tremendous opportunity to help employees be financially wise and savvy. By following three simple steps, organizations can help employees move toward financial freedom.

Step 1: Create awareness

The first step to any type of change is awareness and acceptance. Start by measuring employees’ awareness by conducting a financial health survey. Use the data from the survey to guide your financial wellness approach. In your communications about financial health, dispel any feelings of shame and instead focus on the benefits of making wise money decisions.

Step 2: Provide resources

Use your knowledge of the money issues important to your employees to provide them with relevant financial resources and assistance. Be sure to use the survey feedback to guide the type of tools and materials you provide. Through an employee assistance program, you can offer employees a blend of in-person and online seminars, email communications, online resources and financial counseling sessions catered to your population. The confidentiality of EAPs enables employees to receive the help they need while maintaining their privacy.

Data should also guide your education efforts on retirement savings, health benefits and flexible spending accounts. How many of your employees are enrolled in each of your health plan options? What percent are signed up for flexible spending accounts? Are employees getting the most out of their health plan and flexible spending accounts? The answers to these questions should influence how you educate employees about their benefit options and choices.

Step 3: Empower employees

Once employees learn financial management skills, empower them to make informed money choices. Develop a culture that encourages employees to consider the financial implications of their decisions. For example, provide employees calculators to help them weigh the cost of health insurance options, dependent care, 401(k) investments, etc. Be sure to track usage of these tools and change the promotion of these materials based on how and when they are used.

Your employees’ financial health is too important to leave to chance. Take advantage of the insight data offers and help your employees be more healthy and engaged.

For more information:

  • Read the CeridianVoice article Birds of a Feather: 4 Employee Approaches to Retirement Planning
  • View Ceridian’s Are your Employees Truly Engaged? video
  • Learn about Ceridian Business Intelligence