The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the spotlight on employee health and wellbeing. Employee wellness programs have been in the market for quite some time. However, the changing lifestyle trends and employee expectations have made it necessary for corporate wellness programs to evolve with time.
With the pandemic affecting employee health and wellbeing, the focus has turned on financial and mental health aspects.
Employers and employees are still recovering from the economic downfall and financial uncertainty. To ensure a win-win state for both, organizations are looking forward to adopting new financial wellness programs instead of the disappointing one-size-fits-all strategy.
According to a Society for Human Resource Management study, almost 52% of American workers are either looking for a job or are going to look for one in the next few months. It was also reported that if employers do not review their workplace benefits and perks, it can impact employee engagement, recruitment, and retention.
Making Financial Wellbeing Feasible for Employees
Owing to the financial stress caused by the pandemic, employers must start including suitable financial wellness programs in their latest corporate wellness agenda. Through these employee wellness solutions, employers can provide educational resources, financial coaching, and other digital tools to help and guide them to make the right financial plans for a secured future.
Every employee is different, and so will be their wellbeing needs and concerns. Likewise, every workplace has been affected differently by the pandemic, and requires varying strategies to overcome the issues. Studies have shown that financial wellbeing is highly influenced by factors like gender, age group, race, ethnicity, employment status, and others.
A joint study by SHRM and Morgan Stanley at Work revealed that compared to just 23% of working men, almost 35% of working women agreed to have had financial troubles since the pandemic started. Furthermore, almost 40% of the female workers were more likely to have anxiety and stress due to financial matters, while only 23% of working men felt the same.
- Gender-based Outcomes – Irrespective of their employment status, women faced more financial health concerns during the pandemic than men.
- Age Group-based Outcomes – According to the study, only 15% of the Baby Boomers generation and 28% of the Millennials agreed to have had financial gain during the pandemic. Although all the age groups agreed that seeking personalized financial advice was necessary, a huge 65% of the Gen-Z was seriously looking forward to such financial educational resources and guidance.
- Ethnicity-based Outcomes – Ethnicity and race played a huge role in managing financial health during the pandemic. Almost 61% of Hispanic workers, 63% of Black employees, and 65% of respondents who identified themselves as belonging to other ethnicities or races were more likely to seek or prioritize personalized financial coaching. On the other hand, only 48% of white employees were likely to look for personalization of financial coaching programs.
Many studies have proven that financial wellbeing has a crucial role in achieving holistic health and impacts employee wellbeing, in turn, affecting workplace productivity and business growth. And so, employers have started expanding financial wellness programs by offering suitable benefits, perks, and coaching as a part of the employee wellness solutions.
The most common financial wellbeing benefits that are preferred by the employees include –
- HSAs and FSAs
- 401(K) plans
- Medical Insurance
- Student Loan Support
- Caregiving/Eldercare Support
- Health and Wellbeing Reimbursements
- Premium Discounts
Studies show providing the right financial wellness programs can benefit employers in many ways –
- 77% – Increased Employee Morale
- 80% – Improved Employee Mental Health
- 88% – Less Employee Stress
- 91% – Competitive Edge in Employee Recruitment
With the pandemic emphasizing the need for financial wellness programs, experts suggest it is the best time to reconsider the workplace benefits package and employee wellness solutions to provide the best-suited financial wellbeing offerings to ensure a happy, healthy, and productive workforce.