One of the biggest decisions that employers can make is offering the most effective portfolio of benefits to their employees. Companies that reward their employees see increased employee engagement and productivity, but it also helps to establish long-term relationships with employees. Better financial wellness benefits means less turnover.
So, what happens if an organization discovers that their benefits seem to appeal to only one group of people or just aren’t impactful for their employees? Few of us would think that the employee benefits we offer could contain any bias, but we might be surprised to discover that our benefits packages can indeed be biased. The best benefits packages offer choices for employees from all walks of life and at the various stages in their careers.
The key to determining whether there is a lack of impactfulness in a benefits package is to recognize the diversity within the organization and evaluate if the financial benefits offerings meet the needs of the organization’s employees.
For example, an organization that only offers 529 College Savings Plans might be ignoring an important demographic of employees who could benefit from a student loan paydown plan.
Younger professionals might need help with budgeting and could benefit from financial wellness courses, while older workers would benefit from consultations on how they can maximize their retirement savings. All employees would benefit from retirement planning education.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more employers are offering financial wellness benefits to their employees. The employers surveyed for SHRM’s 2017 Employee Benefits revealed that they have been providing financial advice and mentoring for employees, which has helped to reduce employee stress. Research has shown that stress decreases the creativity and productivity of employees. So, it is very beneficial to employers to reduce or even eliminate the stressors that negatively affect employee performance.
How can organizations eliminate bias in their financial wellness options while also ensuring that they meet the needs of their employees? Try these ideas:
Ask the employees
Employee surveys can provide valuable insight for employers who want to improve the workplace. The survey can be anonymous and ask questions about the current benefit offerings as well as desired benefit options. Quantify the data to determine the types of benefits that would appeal to your organization’s employees.
Provide several options
Some organizations might be able to offer both 529 College Savings Plans and a student loan paydown plan. Maybe employees can choose between a 401K and an IRA for their retirement planning. Optional financial wellness perks like budgeting help or financial planning mentoring can be a great retention strategy.
Take an holistic approach to financial wellness benefits
Financial wellness can go beyond traditional benefits. Make it an important part of the company culture with access to education, resources and tools so that employees can gain control of their financial futures.
Organizations that offer financial wellness benefits tend to have less turnover. Employees want to give their best to an employer that cares about their well-being and understands their needs. And that is good for everyone.