Introduction

Financial awareness and well-being are one of the less talked about issues within the workplace, but it’s something you should be confronting as an employer. Did you know that more than 60% of adults live paycheck to paycheck? That means you probably have people working for you who have recently felt the pressure of financial stress, and you may not have been aware.

So why should this matter to you? Financially stressed employees are less likely to be able to focus on their jobs with their full attention because their minds are filled with anxiety about how the month’s finances are going to shake out. However, there are things you can do as the employer to alleviate these stresses and help them learn how to navigate financial issues with less stress.

Offer Financial Wellness Training

Financial wellness is a tricky subject to navigate without proper training. However, it’s also an uncomfortable subject to ask about if you aren’t aware. There is a bit of pride to overcome in admitting that you don’t know all you should about managing your finances, but having financial wellness training available can make that easier for your employees.

“There’s this stigma around asking for help when it comes to finances,” says Jared Hines, Head of Operations for Acre Gold. “It might be something someone feels embarrassed they don’t know about, so they’re afraid to ask for help, or the subject might just be overwhelming because it’s so unfamiliar. Creating an atmosphere that allows your employees to feel encouraged while pursuing financial wellness training options can lead to happier staff who feel supported.”

Introduce 401K Plans and Matching

Not only are 401K plans important for your employees to prepare for the future, but studies show that employers who offer 401K plans with a percentage of matching support actually have happier employees and a better employee retention rate. This means less turnover, which will lead to less time and money spent training new staff in the long run.

“As an employer, it’s easy to write off the importance of a 401K plan because it is something your staff could pursue individually,” says Jason Boehle, CEO of QuaGrowth. “However, showing your support of their financial wellness by providing a 401K plan for them to participate in with matching can encourage them to be more proactive and feel supported in their pursuit of future financial well-being.”

Life and Disability Insurance

Life and disability insurance can be a hassle to obtain and facilitate for your employees, but a majority of job seekers listed this as a priority benefit for them. People with families and loved ones that are dependent on their income are less likely to explore employment with employers who won’t help them support their families in times of trouble.

“The events of the last few years have left people concerned about how their family would make ends meet if they were unable to work due to a disability or death,” says Jeremy Gardner, CEO of MadeMan. “When people feel secure in knowing their family is going to be safe and provided with financial security – even if they face an unimaginable hardship through disability or death – they’re more likely to be happy with their job and feel valued as an employee.”

Tuition or Loan Repayment Opportunities

With student debt amounts rising each year, it’s no surprise that people are seeking out employment with companies that offer tuition or loan repayment options. While these benefits often only cover a portion of the student loan debt, they can be a great way to improve your employee’s financial well-being.

“So many job applicants right now are feeling the stress of their student loans,” says Lindsay McCormick, Founder and CEO of Bite. “Employers who are willing to provide an opportunity for their staff to pursue higher education or repay the student loan debts that their staff has accumulated are going to find it much easier to hire and retain employees because of their commitment to their staff’s financial well-being.”

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Childcare Stipends

Everything seems to be increasing in price these days – and childcare is no exception. If you google the average childcare expense for your area, you’ll probably be shocked. Offering stipends to help cover some of these costs for working parents whose children aren’t yet of school age can be a huge financial relief.

“There are some areas of the country where having two children in daycare is going to cost as much as one parent’s income,” says Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder & CEO of OSDB. “Even parents of school-age children have to look into after-school daycare for a while until their children are old enough to stay home alone. Parents are being faced with the choice of staying home with their kids or working for what ends up being little to no extra income. Showing your support to staff who continue to work with small children can provide a major morale boost and aid in their financial well being.”

Professional Development Opportunities

Offering times and places for your staff to participate in professional development opportunities on the company’s dime is a great way to show your commitment to your staff and their professional standards. 

“Offer your staff opportunities to take professional development courses and training that can earn them certificates and other qualifications,” says Omid Semino, CEO and Founder of Diamond Mansion. “Not only does this benefit your company while they are employed with you, but your staff feels that they are being invested in to be a more valuable applicant for any future career options. This takes the stress of figuring out how to afford these certifications and licenses off of them and also incentivizes sticking with your company for a bit longer to continue growing.”

Financial Coaching

Financial coaching is not something that has to be available internally, but providing your staff with opportunities to receive financial advice from a professional as part of their benefits package can help them maximize the financial position they’re in.

“It shocked me to learn how little some of my staff knew about financial preparations and literacy,” says Amanda E. Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer for HIDE. “Financial literacy isn’t something you can assume your staff knows. If your employees don’t know how to handle money and finances, they’re going to end up feeling the stress and burden of that sooner or later. This can lead to burnout. Prevent this by giving them access to financial coaching, so they have somewhere to turn if they find themselves struggling.”

Emergency Fund Options

This has become a benefit that more and more people are looking into when it comes to job searching. Emergency funds could include anything from payroll advances to full-blown emergency savings accounts. After the events of the past few years, it’s become more of a priority to have an emergency fund to access in case of extended illness, unexpected expenses, or job loss.

“Having a savings account that’s specifically for emergencies is something that people are starting to consider more frequently,” says William Schumacher, Founder and CEO of Uprising Food. “Employers can help out by providing health insurance options that include a Health Savings account – often referred to as an HSA – for emergency medical situations.”

Conclusion

Financial well-being is something that can affect the overall workplace culture within your brand. If your staff are struggling with stress and can’t focus on their jobs because of financial hardships they’re dealing with, they’ll be less likely to stick with your company if you can’t provide them with the assistance or resources needed to help them out of the situation they’re in. 

Explore the options listed above and do your own research to learn what could be implemented into your company’s benefits to help your staff approach finances in a healthier and more informed manner.

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