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Financial Wellness: Core to Your Workplace Wellness Benefits Strategy

Karl Holmlund

In Bank of America’s recently published 2020 Workplace Benefits Report, 62% of employers feel “extreme responsibility for their employees’ financial wellness,” up significantly from 13% in 2013. The majority of employers surveyed stated that helping their employees achieve their financial goals is a core part of their strategy to attract, retain, and engage their workforce. The 2019 version of the same report found that 53% of employers surveyed offered financial wellness programs, twice as many as in 2015.

If your company is considering incorporating financial wellness into your existing benefits package, here are three reasons why it’s a smart move: 

1. Competitive Differentiation

A survey by PwC found that 78% of employees said they are likely to be attracted to companies that keep their financial well-being in mind. One in four employees said that their most desired workplace wellness benefit is a financial wellness program that gives them access to unbiased advisors. They value resources provided by employers to help them make sound financial decisions. 

Offering benefits that employees truly want will give your company a competitive edge in attracting talent. 

2. A More Engaged Workforce

Businesses all over America are losing billions because employees are spending an average of three hours a week stressing about their finances while at work.  The same study also reported that productivity loss could represent between 11% to 14% of payroll expenses per employee per year. Financial stress can also increase absenteeism, as 56% more absences were reported by employees dealing with financial issues.

It’s not hard to see why. The pandemic has made the average employee’s finances tighter, even for those lucky enough to keep their jobs. A recent PwC survey estimated that 38% of employees have less than $1,000 saved to cover emergencies. Only 42% of employees would be able to meet basic expenses if they were out of work for an extended period. 

Giving employees workplace wellness benefits that address the root of their stress can help increase productivity and reduce absenteeism. 

3. Increased Employee Confidence

Millions of Americans have experienced financial setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees in 2020, regardless of generation, are finding it harder to meet their financial goals compared to 2019. For example, 74% of Millennial employees with student loans said that these loans have a “significant or moderate impact” on their ability to meet their other financial goals. 56% of Baby Boomer employees expect to be working in retirement, a 6% increase from the previous year.

Including financial wellness programs as part of your workplace wellness benefits is critical now more than ever to alleviate the stress your employees are experiencing. Your employees need support getting back on track with their financial goals and regaining confidence in their ability to meet them.

If you’re considering offering financial wellness as part of your workplace wellness benefits strategy, there is no better time than now.  Competitive differentiation, a more engaged workforce, and employees who are confident in achieving their financial goals make this a key benefit for you to evaluate.