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July 09, 2018
Understanding the Importance of Financial Wellness and Training in the Workplace (Part 1)
By Kelly Creighton, Contributing Editor

financial wellnessAccording to PwC’s 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 53% of full-time employed adults said that they are stressed about their finances. And nearly one in three employees who were surveyed also claimed that they have been distracted at work on a regular basis because of their personal financial issues—they report spending at least 3 hours per week thinking about or handling issues related to their personal finances. 

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Overall, a lack of successful financial wellness training in the workplace can lead to unproductive, unengaged, and stressed-out employees and is costing organizations a lot of money. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of financial wellness and training in the workplace and what you can do as a learning and development (L&D) professional. 

 

What Is Financial Wellness Training? 

 

Financial wellness training programs train employees how to better manage and understand their own personal finances and offer financial literacy initiatives and incentives. Such training usually helps employees do things like reduce their debt, establish a savings account, manage their assets and investments, plan and budget for life-altering circumstances (i.e., having a baby, buying a home, retirement, etc.), and more. The main goal of such training programs is to help employees alleviate their financial-related stresses so that such stressors don’t preoccupy them while they’re at work and so that employees are healthier and happier while they’re at work. 

 

Benefits of Financial Wellness Training

 

Here are a few reasons why, as of 2017, nearly half of employers offer some sort of financial wellness benefit. 

  • Employee productivity rates increase.
  • Rates of employee absenteeism and presenteeism decrease.
  • Health-related complaints and insurance claims decrease.
  • Profits increase, and customer complaints decrease.
  • Overall return on investment (ROI) for wellness programs increases.
  • An organization becomes more attractive to top talent. 

 

Essential Elements of a Financial Wellness Training Program

 

Whether you develop the programs yourself or consult a finance professional or third-party vendor, here’s what you’ll want to consider including in your financial wellness programs to ensure they’re effective. 

  • More comprehensive and easy-to-understand information about 401(k) programs, as well as information on savings rates and asset selection;
  • Tutorials and resources for eradicating and dwindling debt, as well as how to manage student loan debt, including student loan assistance programs;
  • Eradicating and offering alternatives to payday borrowing;
  • Basics to budgeting and personal finances and building emergency funds and a savings account, as well as overall wealth-building practices;
  • Information about planning for retirement and other life-altering events;
  • Consultations with a financial adviser, as well as a 24/7 Q&A assistance hotline; and
  • A vast number of resources, booklets, worksheets, etc.

In addition, you’ll want to have a clear method established for how you’ll test the overall effectiveness of your financial wellness training program. Will you be able to tell it’s effective when employee productivity rates are up, when fewer insurance claims are filed, or through some other metric? 

Watch out for tomorrow’s post for more valuable information you’ll want to consider when developing and implementing a financial wellness training program. 

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