Top 7 tips to get more out of your financial wellness program

Top 7 tips to get more out of your financial wellness program

You’ve taken a deep dive into the world of financial wellness and set up a shiny new program for your people — props to you and your forward-thinking team. But now what? If your organization wants to pioneer employee financial inclusion, the first step is to get your people engaged in the program. By helping employees to understand what's on offer and feel positive about participating you’ll achieve a better uptake, eventually leading to improved financial wellness. Which, is a pretty neat outcome for everyone. Progressive organizations can lead the way here by increasing the conversation and normalizing everyone’s right to financial health.  

With this in mind, here are our top 7 tips to get more out of your financial wellness program.  

#1 Communicate your program’s financial wellness benefits to your employees 

The bottom line is, if they don’t know about it, they won’t use it. It’s no good having an amazing financial wellness program for your employees if they don’t know about it, or assume it’s not relevant to them. So, get their attention. And share the good news. 

Effective communication is focused and tailored. Too many generic pings and pop-ups will go ignored or can even become intrusive, especially if your people are experiencing messaging overkill. The financial wellness communication can take the form of prompts (nudges) to take action, based around key life events or financial anniversaries. This ensures relevancy, while notifications within your existing tech stack help to maintain a streamlined experience. 

#2 Open up a conversation  

Let’s talk about it.  

One of the first things trainee therapists learn is the value of just letting a person know that they’re being listened to. And post-pandemic, your people need this more than ever. Create space for them to have conversations around money. This could take many forms; micro-support networks, communities within (workplace) communities, feedback forums, counseling, or by facilitating a stress circle, where co-workers can meet together and discuss their money concerns in a safe, non-judgmental, mutually emphatic space.  

Why not start the conversation by asking your people the question: What does financial wellness mean to you? 

#3 Encourage seniors to share their involvement in your financial wellness program 

CEOs are in a great position to lead by example when it comes to participation in your organization’s financial wellness program for employees. Encouraging them to be a part of the conversation will go a long way in helping to remove the stigmas and taboos around money. Top-level endorsements can harness an internal dialogue that may even extend as far as your people reaching out to one another.  

One thing’s for sure, financial wellness isn’t dictated by income. Those on higher salaries are just as likely - in many cases more likely - to experience money-related stress. Hearing other people’s thoughts, stories and experiences creates a culture of shared openness, especially if it’s transmitting the message that learning how to improve financial capability is a great step. 

#4 Host financial wellbeing program events and initiatives  

Launch creative initiatives and interactive events to engage your people. Maybe set aside a day of the week for this — finance Friday anyone?  Brainstorm the kinds of financial wellness program ideas that resonate with your unique workforce. Then bring in advocates and experts for talks, coaching, and collaborative workshops.  

With a focus on building skills and knowledge that’s underpinned by technology, you can equip your people with the tools they need to succeed.  

#5 Cater to different learning styles  

Our differences unite us. However, too often individuals are alienated because a topic hasn’t been communicated in a way that was relatable, understandable, or even likable. While financial wellbeing programs are for everyone, not everyone thinks, acts, or feels the same. Look for ways to encompass the varieties of learning styles, bridge the gap and — make it fun! 

Technology makes it possible to offer options of individualized learning, with potential small groups, larger groups, offline, online, audio, and visual techniques. Providing a range of tools that makes learning enjoyable, fosters a sense of empowerment.  Maybe even gamify the experience. Finance has a reputation for being boring, and this has much to do with the way it’s been presented historically. Let’s bust some myths and change this together. 

#6 Start a financial wellness program campaign 

We see it in health programs across the US... In-house initiatives and tech, that motivate staff to improve physical wellness. Why not start doing this with money? Create campaigns with measurable goals that run parallel with your financial wellbeing program — technology and financial wellness providers can help you keep track of performance, and campaigns are most effective when they run alongside national/international awareness days, like Financial Wellness month coming up in January.  

#7 Consider default enrollment 

Make it as easy as possible for employees to access their benefits, by providing clear guidance on where to opt-in, and regular signposting on your internal systems. Or, if you know your people are super busy, save them the time and effort, by auto-enrolling them into your financial wellness program — it can become a part of the orientation process for new starters. 

The power of your financial wellness program has much to do with how you communicate and present it. There’s a wealth of untapped potential residing in your people right now; you can help them to unlock it, and to find new hope in their financial futures.  

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Disrupting money habits - global financial wellness report