5 Reasons Financial Wellness Benefits are Great Investments

employee financial wellness

In the pantheon of money worries, there's only one thing worse than being in debt.

That would be not knowing how far in debt you are. It's the reason one Slate writer says she cozies up every night in bed with a budget and a balance sheet.

"To be clear, I don't find playing with money apps relaxing because I have a mattress full of cash," she wrote, "...on most days, it's more like looking fear in the face."

Unfortunately, most people aren't so practical. Gallup says only about a third of people keep a budget. Worse, another study says most people don't even know how much they owe. That's bad news not only because sticking your head in the sand is bad strategy, but also because imagination can make things look even worse than they really are. And a PWC study says there's potential fallout for employers: "higher costs due to elevated healthcare plan use, lost productivity from distractions/absenteeism, and lower savings for retirement or medical expenses." Yikes.

It's no surprise then that financial wellness benefits continue to gain steam among employers.

If you haven't already considered them, here are five reasons you should:

High value

Everybody has money. And except for the select few in the .00001%, everybody worries about money management - even rocket scientists. That means financial wellness benefits touch about every person in your workforce.

High volume

Got a big workforce? Financial wellness benefits are among the best uses of one-to-many platforms. Our Save Smart webinars here at Bright Horizons have been more than merely popular; they've actually helped our people wrangle budgets enough to increase 401k participation.

Many flavors

One money problem doesn't fit all. A young, tech-centric company might want to focus on college debt; another company might have working parents thinking about their kids' ride to college; a third may have frontline employees figuring out how to get themselves back to school. Financial wellness lets you find out what item on the spreadsheet is dogging employees and respond accordingly.

It addresses their need

There are few benefits that have such immediate cause-and-effect rewards. Money advice is one of them. Just imagine the relief of employees who reduce college-debt payments enough to live within their means. Priceless.

It addresses your need

When people are under water, they can't think straight. That, according to the aforementioned PWC study, hangs people up more than health or relationships - and it's leaving a mark on bottom lines.

Finally, financial benefits do one more thing: they can bring an invisible problem into the open. People don't talk about money problems. A readily available financial wellness benefit creates the safe space to deal with those problems before they snowball.

The Slate writer likens her budget to a life raft. "It took years, but I sent my last backlogged credit card payment in the month before I started grad school."

Financial wellness benefits give employees the tools to build seaworthy rafts of their own.

Written by: Ellen Oliver

About the Author

Ellen Oliver at Bright Horizons

As Director of B2B Marketing Programs, Ellen writes about talent management, employee engagement, and work/life balance trends. Ellen brings a wide perspective of human resource topics gained through working with industries from large engineering and construction firms, to government and academic organizations and nonprofits.