Why Financial Literacy Programs Are the New Must-Have Employee Benefit

Why Financial Literacy Programs Are the New Must-Have Employee Benefit

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Small-business owners have a natural interest in keeping their employees happy, productive and well-motivated. One of the best ways to accomplish these goals is by providing the right portfolio of benefits, along with competitive compensation. The question is, which benefits are most impactful to employee morale and wellbeing?

It may surprise you to learn that financial literacy guidance consistently ranks among the most meaningful, most sought-after employee benefits. Then again, maybe it shouldn't be surprising. After all, studies show that more than a third of all U.S. adults feel like they barely scrape by, often living paycheck to paycheck. And nearly all employees say they experience some level of financial stress in their life.

Naturally, this level of stress takes a toll, taking up mental bandwidth that your employees might otherwise devote to their workplace performance. Supporting your team members as they try to improve their own financial health can be an effective way to ease this mental, emotional and physical toll, benefiting the employee but also boosting your company’s bottom line.

Promoting employee financial health

To ensure the financial wellness of your employees, there’s no substitute for adequate pay. But beyond that, there are some additional steps you can take to promote your employees’ financial health, which can in turn make you
a standout employer.

Here are some recommendations:

  1. Provide resources and education. A big part of financial health is basic financial literacy. From seminars and training programs to access to a financial adviser, there are plenty of ways employers can boost their team’s understanding of fiscal stewardship.
  2. Include financial training in your onboarding process. Start encouraging financial literacy early in the employee life cycle. Ensure that your onboarding efforts include details about retirement savings options, health savings accounts and other resources that employees have at their disposal.
  3. Talk with your own adviser. As a business owner, you likely have an accountant, tax prep specialist or financial planner of your own. Ask them for tips on promoting financial health at your workplace, soliciting their input for encouraging and supporting team members.
  4. Alleviate major expenses when you can. When possible, offer team members flexibility to work from home or to take paid time off, especially when doing so helps them avoid unplanned childcare expenses. This may not be possible for your field technicians but may work for administrative personnel.
  5. Provide clear expectations. Employees should know what they need to do to earn merit-based raises, or what your company’s stance is regarding cost-of-living increases. Alleviate the types of stress and anxiety that stem from financial uncertainty.

Make financial wellness a hallmark of your team

It’s only natural for employees to have the occasional worry about money, but there is much that you can do as an employer to alleviate these worries. Doing so can make a world of difference in employee morale, and in the overall productivity of your team. Focus on financial wellness as an essential workplace benefit.


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