A survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) discovered that 35% of U.S. adults feel they are “just getting by” financially. Another survey found that 80% of U.S. employees experience financial stress, proving that a significant number of employees would appreciate an increased focus on financial health and wellness.
Employers stand to gain much by offering financial support and resources, considering that the TIAA Institute and Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) determined that the average employee manages financial concerns 8 hours a week, 4 of those hours occurring during work.
Top three ways to improve employee financial health
- Take an “ecosystem” approach to financial health. The ecosystem approach considers unique employee factors such as financial knowledge, cultural influences, socioeconomic status, mindset, physical health, environment, and more to better understand overall financial wellness. By understanding that many factors affect their employee population’s wellness, they can craft a multipronged approach to create more financial equity. For example, an employer may offer additional education to help employees be more sound in their benefits decision-making, and they may offer hybrid work options to meet the needs of working parents. By offering both, more people will experience improved financial health.
- Help employees mindfully choose and utilize benefit offerings. Not all employees have the same financial education background, so it’s important to constantly provide tools and resources. Offering benefits is only helpful if employees use them and use them properly. Experts recommend taking the time to educate all new hires on typical retirement saving goals and strategies along with general financial tips.
- Offer a designated in-house or external expert as a resource. Having an in-person resource can alleviate stress for many employees. It’s important that this expert is trusted and readily accessible, offering financial literacy, budgeting, debt management, savings accounts, retirement, and life event guidance.
Financial health is important to every individual’s overall well-being, so be sure to emphasize it in 2024.