Almost half of low-wage workers find it difficult to “just get by” on their regular income. A single unforeseen expense can upend their lives. Workers are bringing this stress into the workplace, and many employers are trying to do something about it. The Guide to Employee Financial Wellness, developed by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, sets a clear process for employers to follow to ensure they select the right program for their business and their workers.
The devastating impact of COVID-19 on the financial well-being of frontline workers has shined a spotlight on the tremendous value workplace financial wellness programming can yield. Employees who participate in these programs can reduce some of the financial stress they face and come to work focused on their job, not their financial burdens. Employers who implement financial wellness programs can also develop mutual trust with their employees, resulting in a more productive and motivated workforce.
“Our senior leaders consider employee wellness—including financial wellness—a top priority in fostering employee engagement and productivity,” said Phyllis Wright, Ph.D., senior vice president of human resources strategies at VRM Mortgage Services, based outside Dallas in Carrollton, Texas. “What we learned from Washington University’s pilot employee survey confirmed the importance of our company’s financial wellness efforts.”
With funding from Prudential, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Social Policy Institute developed this guide to provide employers with the tools, resources, and strategy they need to provide the best financial wellness programming for their employees.
“Employers are facing unprecedented challenges that require new ways of thinking about how to support their employees,” said Ellen G. Frank-Miller, senior scientist and adjunct professor at the Social Policy Institute. “This guide combines four years of industry research and best practices. We hope it will help employers approach their workforce’s financial needs with fresh eyes and a clear path to developing long-term solutions and financial stability.”
It is important, especially in the wake of COVID-19, that employers and workers come together to find solutions that make jobs better.
“The coronavirus crisis has exposed just how fragile the financial lives of many Americans are,” said Janice Urbanik, senior director of strategy and innovation at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. “It won’t be enough simply to recover from this crisis. We must redesign a stronger economy built on good jobs for frontline workers. Financial wellness programs are an important part of that.”