Why HR needs to focus on financial wellness

A personalized approach is key to being successful in implementing well-being programs in the workplace, says a human resources manager.

When it comes to financial wellbeing, there is no one size fits all. As one expert recently advised, when designing benefits, including those related to financial well-being, HR should think of the whole person so that employees feel as comfortable at home as they are at work.

“Personalization is an important asset – there is a goal for every stage of life,” said Stacey Magness, director of global benefits at software company Ellucian, during a panel session at the HR Technology Conference last week. The pandemic has put employee wellbeing at the center, she added, showing the need for individual benefits that are tailored to employees’ needs, including financial ones.

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“The pandemic has put our lives under pressure,” she said. “The relationship between financial stress and physical health is 1: 1. It’s not a contributing factor, it’s an important factor. “

Before Ellucian revised its financial wellness plan, Magness said the plan was heavily geared towards retirement. “It’s a big part of financial well-being, but not the only one,” she said.

Stacey Magness, Director of Global Benefits at software company Ellucian, and Marthin De Beer, Founder and CEO of Brightplan, present at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition 2021.

“Financial wellbeing is quite a monster,” she added. To that end, the organization has partnered with financial wellness platform BrightPlan to improve registration, education, and personalized financial literacy.

In the two years since and despite the global pandemic, 70% of employees said they were maintaining their mental and physical well-being, and 27% of all U.S. employees had attended at least one finance webinar.

As more employers want to develop health programs, metrics are important, she advised. “Take heart rate surveys, have one-on-one interviews; Take the opportunity to talk to employees and find out what works and what doesn’t, and look at your supplier details. “

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The company researches the metrics, she added, by rating who is using the financial wellness tools based on age, gender, department, and other demographics.

Magness also suggested assisting HR managers, assisting line managers and maintaining communication about service offerings. Employees will not always turn to corporate or human resources for assistance. So make sure managers are aware of all the benefits available, she said. In addition to training managers, you can also use e-mail, home mail and other communication methods to convey a uniform message to employees.

“The staff are busy and employers have to compete with the other noise out there,” she added.

Nick Otto is Senior Digital Editor at HRE. He is a professional communicator with more than a decade of proven track record in newspaper and specialist publishing. He has spent the past five years covering employee benefits and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Ottografs.

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