Leveraging financial wellness programs to combat the great resignation

According to a Bankrate poll, more than half of American workers plan to switch jobs in the next 12 months, and the number is even higher for Gen Z, Millennials and BIPOC workers.

If you are looking to recruit or just retain top talent during this great resignation, it may be helpful to start with your current financial wellness offerings. While such benefits are not new, arguably the pandemic has accelerated some of the trends we have already seen – and turned financial wellness programs and solutions into indispensable business benefits.

So, here’s how you can use this powerful tool to build deeper connections with your employees.

The value of financial wellness benefits
There is ample evidence that financially stressed employees are not fully engaged at work. According to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, over two-thirds of workers feel stressed out thinking about their financial future, while 70% said they need their employer’s help to become financially healthy and secure. 63 percent believe that their employer has an obligation to do so.

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It is estimated that employee financial stress is costing American companies billions of dollars in lost productivity. This is where financial wellbeing benefits begin to make good business sense for both your bottom line and employee retention. Employees want and expect financial wellness solutions from their employer and stick with employers who offer them. Can you meet these expectations?

Connect the dots
For a truly effective financial wellness program, you want to bring together all of your benefits in the workplace through financial planning and coaching, staying connected with your workforce through a structured communication and engagement strategy, and developing an effective way to keep track of what is working and outcomes measure up.

They also need to provide a seamless participant experience across all technology platforms, digital environments, and support services – even better if it is tailored to each individual’s specific needs, key milestone events, and key deadlines and actions. Intuitive tech solutions that give employees the tools they need to find answers and take themselves on a full journey into the benefits can pay off in terms of engagement and loyalty.

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Whatever you do to collect and analyze employee data, make sure you do it on a regular basis. Without regular assessment and analysis, how can you adequately respond to the changing financial wellness needs of your employees? This is an opportunity to get more strategic about how you invest in your people. In a Morgan Stanley study with the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals, we asked publicly traded companies about their financial wellness programs. While the most requested benefit is a retirement plan, employers also reported that their employees seek help with budgeting, saving, managing student loan debt, and accessing personal financial advice or counseling.

Take into account the individual needs of your employees
Make sure you tailor your programs to meet the unique needs of different audiences within your employee population. With a higher percentage of Generation Z, Millennials, and BIPOC employees considering leaving their jobs, keep your financial wellbeing offers in mind.

For Gen Z and Millennials, a multi-channel financial education, counseling and advisory delivery system that includes a digital component will go a long way in keeping this segment busy. For BIPOC employees, involving your employee resource groups can help select the financial wellness offerings that best meet the needs of today’s diverse workforce.

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Personalizing your benefits for your population starts with gathering the right data and providing the right technology so you can truly empower your employees to seamlessly reap their benefits and make the decisions that make the most sense for their situation today are.

Help employees feel financially secure
If you want to keep your talent, think about how to implement financial wellness benefits – or improve your current menu. Use cross-promotion and education to combine the various benefits you offer – such as stock compensation, retirement planning, student debt consolidation, or health savings accounts.

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Financial well-being is the connective tissue for all performance in the workplace – a look at where performance holistically fits into an employee’s financial plan. When employees have a better understanding of the importance of saving for retirement, how to use equity investments to help build intergenerational wealth, and how to choose cost-effective health care options, they are more likely to take the steps necessary to improve their financial situation .

An effective employer-sponsored financial wellness program makes employees feel like they are seen, heard, and valued. It shows them that the company cares about their financial goals and wants them to be successful not only at work but in life as well.

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