Debt, Credit, Income, Savings
What do you think of when you read the words: Financial Wellness? Are you immediately met with a pile of worries such as how to pay for your mortgage, cover your credit card debt, save for retirement or even meet your childcare bills? Or do the words conjure up a present in which you “have it all”– and a future filled with sunsets and walks on the beach?
Of Associations and Definitions
Financial wellness means different things to different people. The associations it sparks and the realities surrounding it are based on generation, experiences as young adults, and even country of residence. The term is not just a collection of financial products for building up retirement savings like a pension or 401K— nor a catch-all for “what if” protections such as life, disability, or supplemental health insurances. The phrase means freedoms from financial worry, stress, and depression– but also what having those freedoms mean: work-life balance, quality experiences, ability to spend time with family, and even regular vacations. For employers, it means an impactful way to communicate and support employees with everything from specific benefits to extra services and even counseling.
The Employee Mindset
Would it surprise you to learn that 57% of employees say they are very or somewhat stressed about their financial situation, according to Prudential’s Financial Wellness Study, 2017? The top three stress factors are:
What Is (and Isn’t) Financial Wellness?
Our latest e-magazine is called Financial Wellness: The Topic You Can’t Afford to Ignore, and it uncovers the #1 threat to business performance and how today’s employers can win. In fact, it shows that in some parts of the world, “financial wellness” is not a recognized phrase. More than that— it is a foreign, unreachable ideal because the amount of stress in not feeling secure makes feeling any kind of “well” almost impossible. In many parts of the world living paycheck to paycheck is the reality. Wellness means having the basics— not the extras. And reaching self-actualization is a luxury that not everyone in the world has.
An Actionable Item for HR
Your employees experience life both inside and outside of workplaces. And the life they experience “on the outside” often affects their ability to focus and perform when they’re on the job. It would seem logical then to treat them as humans who may have real financial worries, future hopes, and present struggles. This is an area that, armed with a little education and insight, HR leaders can make a big impact. Especially in light of the cost of recruitment and low levels of engagement worldwide, cobbling together a program, a series of benefits, or even counseling may be money well spent.
Download Financial Wellness: The Topic You Can’t Afford to Ignore for an overview of financial wellness, employee profiles, statistics, and tips for HR when developing initiatives, programs, and communication.