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On the Money: Making the Case for Financial Wellness Programs at Your Business

Demand for financial wellness programs in the workplace is unlikely to drop to a zero balance soon, given that 64% of today’s employees are paying off student loans; with 54% of them stressed about finances in general, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Furthermore, research by Prudential found the number of employers offering such programs jumped 63% in just two years.

To learn why financial wellness programs have become such a hot topic, we sat with financial writer Ilyce Glink for an HR Break Room conversation. You can listen to the full episode here.

Employees are $tre$$ed

Despite a strong economy, U.S. wages have not kept up with living expenses. In fact, Glink said, houses today cost 40% more than they did five years ago, while 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans don’t have even $400 in emergency savings.

With mounting student debt and rising health care costs, Americans’ increased financial burden has greatly impacted millennials and members of Generation Z; most of whom first entered the workforce in the fallout of the 2008 Great Recession.

However, baby boomers – now retiring at the rate of 50,000 to 60,000 people a day – are experiencing a similar pinch, having had to liquidate their 401(k)s or take other drastic financial measures during the recession to stay afloat.

Becoming an ‘employer of choice’

As a result, financial wellness is a priority, Glink said, because people simply are “broke.” That burden often distracts employees from focusing on their work. When employers offer financial wellness programs, employees receive the tools they need to successfully manage their money and reduce associated stress.

Additionally, incorporating these programs into your organization’s benefits drives retention and sets up your business to be ‘an employer of choice.’ The millennial and Gen Z employees look to their employers to engage with them, provide a friendlier workplace and acknowledge the personal problems that spill over into work hours; directly affecting the company’s bottom line.

App technology pays off

The digital transformation has changed and continues to change the way we work and live, thanks to mobile app technology. Giving HR managers and employees the assistance and tools they need to manage their workload and finances alike.

Like traditional legacy newspapers that did not adapt to the arrival of the internet (as Glink noted, “One day you had newspapers, and the next day, you really didn’t”), HR departments that do not embrace app-based tech will be surpassed by competitors that do.

The easier and more engaging it is for employees to manage their benefits and financial burdens, the faster they can get back to work. Listen to our full conversation with Glink on episode 52 of the HR Break Room podcast, “On the Money: Making the Case for Financial Wellness Programs at Your Business.”