Do you know what your employees are thinking about while they are on the job? Here’s a hint, it’s not work. We all know that employees come to work each day with their personal baggage. Whether it is a personal struggle, childcare issues or financial stressors it comes through those doors on a daily basis and impacts efficiency and engagement. The latter topic is what I want to focus on today by looking at your employee’s financial well-being.
Financial well-being is nothing new, but it is gaining more traction as something small businesses need to focus on. Most Americans don’t have $500 in their savings accounts and the amount of debt people are living with is staggering. Many come out of high school and even college with just the basic understanding of finances and even more live paycheck to paycheck. In the highly competitive business world we must have our employees on the top of their game and not distracted with how they will afford their car payment. But that is exactly what they are thinking about while at work. Financial stressors are making your employees less efficient because they are so distracted with their financial baggage they aren’t giving their all.
So what is a small business supposed to do with likely a small budget? Here are a couple of ideas to get your organization helping employees with their financial well-being:
Get it on your wellness calendar
Many of us have been doing walking challenges, biometric screens and focusing on healthy living for our employees for quite some time. Why aren’t more companies focusing on their financial well-being? Make a financial literacy month and focus a newsletter specifically on the basics of financial literacy and promote any benefits your company offers like 401(k). Once you have made the commitment that you are going to focus on financial wellness get it on the calendar!
Look for financial well-being services you are already paying for
That’s right, some of these resources are already being included in your Employee Assistance Plan or 401(k) plan and even your medical plan. At the company I used to work for, our EAP gave us a specific number of instructional hours… for FREE! Since we focused so much of our well-being initiatives on the health aspect, we would set these hours up at our locations and have employees sign up for classes like ‘Living on a Budget’ or ‘Financial Planning 101’.
Your 401(k) provider is also a great avenue to explore what resources they have available. You are paying those commission fees right? Well put them to work and check and see if your plan allows onsite financial planning and set employees up with 20 minutes. If these aren’t viable options, set up a Finance Fair in the break room and have some reputable financial planners come out on site. There are also many great training options you can purchase and have your employees sign up for or you can develop your own.
Hopefully these ideas will get the ball started on creating a financial well-being program that will not only benefit your employees greatly, but you will see the results in a more happier and productive work environment.