Financial stress can hamper employee productivity and impact a business’ overall earning potential. Ultimately, taking care of employee financial well-being makes good business sense while providing a nice perk for employees. While 401(k) plans are the most popular financial benefit, developing creative benefits that go beyond basic retirement savings, including student loan repayment or debt management, can distinguish your company from other employers. Often, the hardest part is getting employees to enroll in your financial wellness program. What steps can you take to encourage enrollment?
Automatic enrollment of employees can be a delicate matter, especially where money is involved. Plans should not be one-size-fits-all. Whether it’s a 401k plan or a student loan repayment plan, employers should communicate the rationale and benefits of enrollment to employees and provide a clear way to opt out.
Educate employees about financial benefits by presenting the value of the benefits using specific figures that show the “price of procrastination” and how compounding interest impacts how much someone saves for retirement over time. Some employers utilize lunch and learns offering success stories and case studies that demonstrate the positive impact benefits have had for other employees.
Provide a financial incentive to employees for enrolling. Such incentives can be as little as a $25 gift card or $100 spot bonus.
Understand your employees’ financial lives. Different generations have different financial concerns. Evaluate your methods of communication, utilize surveys of employees and measure which financial benefits – student loan repayment, financial planning advice, etc. – would best suit your employees. Taking into consideration the financial stresses that impact your workforce will help you develop a financial well-being program that is appreciated and utilized by your employees.
Financial education and creative benefits can encourage more employees to participate in financial wellness programs. It’s a great opportunity for employers to show employees they care not just about corporate well-being but about each employee’s individual financial concerns.