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Financial Wellness at Work

Posted by Johnson Financial Strategies

The workplace climate has greatly changed in favor of employees in past years and companies are becoming more competitive with one another by trying to offer the best perks and attract the best talent. Some office perks are becoming quite creative including a more casual environment where pets are welcome, free meals, massage rooms and more. Many companies though have realized that these fun perks alone are not enough to keep employees in the long run and are making an investment in their employees’ financial wellness.

Trying to offer the most competitive retirement plan has long been a tactic to promote financial wellness among companies, but many companies are going beyond efforts to help educate employees to increase their contributions to their 401(k)s and helping employees to leave the workforce and live comfortably one day. No matter the age of the employee, most everyone has financial challenges to tackle such as student loan debt, helping provide for children or aging parents, and saving for retirement.

Research has shown a connection between financial and physical health. Financially burdened employees are more likely to have stress which may lead to health problems and time missed from work. Poor health and debt are two reasons employees may stay in the workplace long after they desire to retire. These issues can add stress and decrease work productivity adding to the cycle of business owners being frustrated and wondering how they do not have better quality employees. This trend proves aiding employees in financial wellness can be a win-win situation for everyone. Beyond improved physical and financial wellness, company morale is sure to improve when employees feel the company has a vested interest in their overall well-being.

Employers have found many creative means of aiding in financial wellness which can also benefit their health. Some companies offer weight loss challenges which may include cash prizes being added to their employees’ health savings accounts while others offer employees the opportunity to meet with financial wellness coaches and educate employees on debt reduction. Others offer custom apps that link to their employees checking accounts and provide employees with reminders on how to save with such things as promotions or discounts on certain services offered through partnerships with other companies with whom their employer has an affiliation. Some companies offer these benefits to their employees’ families as well such as the opportunity to meet with financial professionals.

When seeking employment, applicants should not be shy about asking how companies are contributing to their employees’ financial wellness beyond the available retirement plans and insurance offerings. The future looks very promising for the work place as companies realize the potential to attract the employees they want by tailoring to the needs of those they wish to recruit. This will in turn continue to benefit those in their workplace and offer great options beyond traditional perks of the past.

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