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The Benefits of Financial Wellness Education

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Workplace benefits are more extensive than they used to be. It’s not enough to throw out a standard retirement plan and health insurance and call it a day. Millennials, now the generation making up the largest percentage of the workforce in America, are driving the need for comprehensive and diverse benefits.

One of the most popular fringe benefits is financial wellness education programs. Let’s explore what financial wellness programs are and if they’re right for your business.

What are financial wellness programs?

Financial wellness programs are designed to promote employee learning and literacy, with the ultimate goal of improving their financial well-being. Typically, these learning opportunities target retirement options and plans, as well as how to manage money. It’s a growing need according to Kent Allison of PWC:

“Retirement plan funds have become a safety valve for many who don’t have money set aside for an emergency or unexpected expense. […] It is our continued belief that it will take a combination of strategic plan redesign, along with an increased focus on promoting healthier employee financial behaviors, to solve the issue.”

What are the benefits to employers?

Employers may be hesitant to spend the time and resources devoted to improving financial education opportunities. But if they’re willing to spend time onboarding talented people, it makes sense to keep them happy. Plus, they may quickly see a better ROI than they think.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, employers across all industries have seen the impact of reduced productivity, turnover, downsizing, and absenteeism that accompanies financial stress. Educational opportunities give employers the chance to manage anxiety surrounding financial uncertainty and the ability to refocus employees.

How should employers implement financial wellness programs?

The first step of implementing financial wellness programs is determining what your employees want and need. Accurately meeting these needs will ensure the most success of the programs. Every workplace will have different financial goals, situations, and curiosities that determine the specific programs you should start.

No matter what program you launch to improve employee financial literacy, they should be strategic in nature and focused on overall healthier spending and saving behaviors.

Who wants financial wellness education?

As mentioned above, younger generations are leading the charge for more financial education in the workforce. This is partly due to growing up in the prosperity of the ’90s and entering the workforce during the worst financial collapse in decades. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they want to be insulated from future economic disasters. Recent research supports the idea that employees trust their employers, and look to them for assistance on financial knowledge:

“Three-fourths of employees say they see their employer as a trusted source of help and approximately 60% say they are more committed to their employer and more productive at work when their employer demonstrates a commitment to employees’ financial wellness.”

Companies that offer financial learning opportunities then have the edge when it comes to recruiting and retaining top millennial talent.

But not to be outdone by their younger counterparts, older members of the workforce are also very interested in improving their financial education. They’re close to retiring and may also need assistance paying for aging parents and health care.

If you’re considering financial wellness programs, it’s best to start by identifying the wants and needs of your workplace demographic. Because no matter their curiosities, nearly everyone can benefit from higher financial literacy.


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