Financial Education is the New Wellness program!

By now we all recognize the importance of wellness programs in the way they benefit both the employees and the employers. Good employees benefits have been shown to improve:

  • Employee health
  • Job satisfaction (including job retention/loyalty)
  • Productivity

And while traditionally wellness programs have centered on medical and dental benefits and some retirement pension packages, there has been a marked shift more recently to programs concentrating on financial wellness – and for good reason. In recent years the statistics on financially stressed out employees is close to alarming:

  • The financial education in the workplace survey, conducted in December 2011 by a Better Quality of Life Financial Consulting, found that of 608 working Canadians between the ages of 21 and 60 polled, one in four is seriously distressed financially.(1)
  • Additionally, according to a recent report released by Morneau Shepell in 2010, 63.2% of the time that users accessed their employee assistance programs (EAP) for financial assistance, it was for personal debt and/ or credit issues. (2)

Financial Stress Linked to Physical Illness

Employee medical costs account for the greatest expense to employers, and while promoting healthy lifestyles with traditional welness programs helps reduce costs, the latest research shows that financial stress is a prime cause of personal stress, contributing to increasing health care costs and reduced productivity in the workplace.

Financial Stress in the Workplace Costs you

With so many people feeling the pinch of financial stress, it's easy to see how all this stress can distract employees to the point that they are less productive.  Look at these recent stats from MetLife's 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefit Trends: (4)

  • 58% of employers state that financial stress contributes to employee absenteeism
  • 78% said that employees are less productive while at work when they are worried about personal financial problems
  • 27% of employees admit they took time off unplanned and/or were distracted at work dealing with personal financial issues

Financial Wellness: Changing Definition

Ten years ago, the term financial wellness was relatively unknown.  That's because our world has changed.  With the change in technology and the recent global economic meltdown, today's employees are feeling more vulnerable, and understandably much more interested in the details of their employee benefits and their personal financial health.

 

While in the past financial education (or financial planning) was something our parents thought about as they got closer to retirement, with today's economic climate, assumed well-funded pension plans are looking like a thing of the past.  Today younger employees are thinking about all aspects of their financial issues at a much earlier age.  So, what would a financial wellness program encompass?  It should cover a variety of financial issues:

  • How to calculate and monitor your net worth
  • How to develop and manage a household budget
  • How to minimize hoiusehold expenses
  • How to manage your debt
  • How to manage your savings (safeguarding and investing)
  • How to develop an education plan
  • How to plan for retirment
  • How to invest

In other words, topics must be designed with employees of all age groups in mind about all aspects of financial wellness.  (We're no longer just talking about retirement planning!)

Financial education = Savings to your bottom line

As the latest research illustrates, financial wellness programs do make a difference to an employee’s health, productivity, sense of loyalty, and therefore, ultimately your bottom-line. How? One study sees financially healthy employees save employers up to $2000 a year. (3) The return on investment for employers is a definite win/win solution

Partners in Wellness: Building a Stronger Future Together

The challenges of having financiall stressed employees are clear.  It's costing you money!  The solution then is also clear: reduce employee's financial stress by providing financial education, which in turn will directly increase your bottom line.  By merely helping employees change their financial behaviour, they can create a sense of financial control and help reduce stress.  However, many employees lack a source of sound financial advice and guideance, and there is growing evidence to suggest they want financial education available to them in the workplace. (5)  That is where we can help.

 

InvestingForMe can help you provide the financial wellness platform for your employees with the following comprehensive resources all conveniently located in one website:

  • Classroom - including videos
  • Financial Planning and Budgeting - complete with tools and calculators
  • Sample Portfolios - including quarterly updates
  • MyFolder and MyPortfolio - personalized and secure place to keep your records
  • Data Room - live feeds for Exchange Traded Funds, stocks, bonds, preferred shares, economic and financial news

We believe we have the tested and tried technology and resources to create a great partnership in providing a financial education that can help you build a stronger, more profitable future, and we invite you to consider your part in it.

For more information on how to implement a Financial Wellness program for your organization, using InvestingForMe: please contact Shanda Wright at shanda@investingforme.com

 

 

1. Wiginton,Frank (2012). Wealthy and Wise, Benefits Canada, http://bit.ly/HGjK12

2. Shepell, Morneau. (2012) Morneau Sheppell’s New Online Financial Planning Service Helps Users Plan Their Financial Fugure. Available at:         http://bit.ly/JBkDXL

3. Wiginton, Frank. (2010) Increase Profitability through Financial Literacy. http://slidesha.re?HLGuvD

4. MetLife. (2011). 9th Annual STudy of Employee Benefit Trends; http://bit.ly/HOaKLp

5. Wiginton, Frank. (2010). Increase Profitability through Financial Literacy. http://slidesha.re?HLGuvD

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