The Benefits of Financial Wellness Programs During the Coronavirus Crisis
Financial well-being is a big source of stress for many employees these days. According to a recent survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), 81 percent of those surveyed said the pandemic is causing them financial issues, which range from:
Inability to pay their mortgage/rent
Lack of an emergency fund
Difficulty paying utility, medical and credit cards bills
Anxiety over dipping into retirement savings
The pandemic has caused a shift in the way employees view their employers. A recent survey by MetLife, which examines employee benefit trends, found that 80 percent of employees believe their employers have a responsibility to address their health and well-being during these unprecedented times. Forty-one percent of the employees surveyed feel their employers are not currently offering benefits or programs that help support their well-being during this challenging time.
How can employers help ease the financial stress for employees?
Many employers are now offering financial wellness programs that go beyond typical retirement planning and investing and focus on employees' day-to-day personal financial concerns. These programs offer support and counseling services to employees so they can make better financial choices.
What are the benefits of a financial wellness program?
Financial wellness programs can improve an employee’s overall well-being and provide support at a time when it is needed most. These programs can increase employee productivity because employees can focus on their jobs rather than on their financial challenges. Financial wellness programs also tend to build loyalty and appreciation between employees and their employer, thus creating a win-win situation for everyone.
What is included in a financial wellness program?
A financial wellness program can help employees be prepared and make sound financial decisions during a crisis. Typical programs offer assistance with the following:
Developing a budget
A financial wellness program can help review an existing budget or develop a new budget that takes into account the current financial situation and any recent income changes.
Employees can utilize the financial counseling services provided by a wellness program to speak with a professional about consolidating any debt they may have incurred as a result of the pandemic. These professionals can help employees review their financial contracts and determine whether there are any options to revise payment terms for items such as mortgages, credit card bills, taxes or other bills.
Starting or rebuilding an emergency savings fund
Financial wellness programs can provide invaluable education for your employees, such as learning how to start an emergency savings fund so they are better prepared for the next crisis. Experts suggest having three to six months of living expenses set aside in a separate savings or bank account. Taking steps to put your employees on the path to savings can relieve the financial challenges they may be facing.
Financial wellness programs can also help educate employees about how to avoid scams and fraud, which, unfortunately, is often common during a time of crisis.
Wellness Workdays helps organizations across the country improve the financial well-being of their employees through a robust offering of financial wellness programs. Contact us to find out how we can put your employees on the path to financial wellness.