Financial wellness programs are fast becoming one of the most popular benefits offered by today’s employers. And with good reason…
According to a 2022 survey from SoFi:
- 75% of employees are stressed about their finances.
- 51% of employees are more stressed about their finances today than they were during the height of the pandemic.
- Employees spend around 25% of their work week dealing with financial issues.
It’s clear to see – there’s never been a better time to prioritize communications that make financial wellness an achievable reality for your employees. The programs you promote today can help reduce their stress, improve their money management habits and even increase their productivity and job satisfaction.
Here are a few best practices to get you started.
Best Practices for Promoting Financial Wellness to Employees
Create a Compelling Communication Strategy
Effective employee communication is the key to promoting a successful financial wellness program, and having a strategy in place before you kick things off is the best way to begin.
Creating clear goals for participation, breaking up your employee audience into segments, defining the appropriate channels, outlining the main messages and even compiling a financial wellness logo or slogan are all great ways to solidify your financial wellness strategy and communicate from a place of preparedness.
Embed Financial Wellness into Employee Onboarding
During employee onboarding and orientation, you typically have a captive audience when it comes to learning about benefits offerings. Use this time to your advantage to highlight the usefulness of financial wellness programs. Feature those programs prominently alongside other benefits materials, versus leaving them as an afterthought. You can lay some good, organic groundwork here to promote participation and address questions or comments from employees right from the start.
Use Targeted Communications
With different backgrounds, ethnicities, generations and general priorities in the workforce, certain financial wellness benefits will be more (or less) valuable to some than others. It’s important to tailor your message to the right audience and target that audience through their preferred communication channel.
For example, Millennials and Gen Z’ers may value student loan paydown benefits and prefer to access educational resources from vendor videos, while Boomers and Gen X’ers might be looking for information about retirement plan offerings in a detailed email communication.
Promote Educational Resources
Keep the tangible training materials and resources flowing, so your employees always have access to financial wellness education. Make it easy for them to find contact information for financial advisors or program vendors so they can empower themselves to take action when it comes to their personal finances.
Work With Your Existing Partners and Vendors
Speaking of your partners and vendors, most of them are incentivized to provide additional resources to their clients and those clients’ employees. Some might even happily host a seminar or attend a benefits fair or Open Enrollment to educate your employees about their offerings.
Leverage the Power of Mobile Tech
The average American will spend nearly a month and a half on their phones in 2022, or 2 hours + 54 minutes each day on average.
As alarming as this figure may sound, you can use it to your advantage when it comes to promoting financial wellness programs. Don’t leave text messages out of your communications strategy, as mobile phones are proven to be a high-traffic channel for many employees.
Offer In-Depth Trainings and Seminars
You might think about holding in-depth training sessions that focus on a specific financial education topic each month, for example:
- 401(k) plans and matching contributions
- 529 college savings plans
- Student loan repayment plans
- Caregiver or childcare support funds
- Emergency fund management
- Financial planning and coaching
- Tuition reimbursement
Gather Employee Feedback
At the end of the day, if you’re not listening to your employees, how can you know which financial wellness offerings will be of benefit to them? Gather employee feedback on a regular basis to learn what matters most — whether it’s flexible schedules, dependent care benefits, retirement planning resources, etc. By staying in step with what they want, you can help build a stronger company culture through the programs you promote.
Incentivize Program Participation
Who doesn’t love a little incentivization? To promote financial wellness for your employees and alleviate the stress associated with personal finances, incentivizing participation is a great way to lighten their load. One of the most common ways to do this is through a 401(k) account with an employer match or annual profit-sharing contributions. This is a popular way for employers to offset employee stress by taking a vested interest in their financial future.
Don’t Forget the Calls to Action (CTAs)
What good is any communication without a call to action? When you’re promoting financial wellness programs, it’s important to consistently place CTAs in areas where your employees are regularly navigating and make it as easy as possible for them to complete the CTA immediately. Anything that distracts them or makes it more difficult to get involved means less signups and, effectively, less participation in financial wellness programs.
Remember: The Ultimate Goal is Employee Participation
The key to any successful financial wellness program comes down to participation. Use every tool you can to keep your financial wellness communications refreshed, relevant and prominently featured for your employees — so it’s easy and engaging for them to get involved.
The above best practices can help you take your financial wellness communications to a place where everyone can benefit – from the program itself to the employees who are empowered to use it to your company’s bottom line.