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Blue @ Work

Beyond the balance sheet

Making sense of financial well-being in the workplace

The focus of traditional health and well-being programs is on encouraging physical activity and healthy eating. But, stress can directly impact your employees’ physical health — and nearly half of employees are stressed about their finances, according to PwC’s annual employee financial wellness survey External Site.

When your employees are stressed about their finances, they’re less productive and more likely to take time off to deal with financial matters, seek a job with higher compensation and cite health issues caused by financial stress.

See how your employees’ financial stress can impact your company — and learn what you can do to help.

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What you can do to help

According to Fidelity, the majority of companies now offer financial security programs to their employees External Site. Additionally, employees want this financial help. Nearly 84 percent of workers surveyed by MetLife External Site say that a financial well-being program, financial planning, education, workshops and tools are either must-haves or nice-to-haves. When their employer offers a financial wellness program, employees stressed about finances are even more likely to use it.

“I believe pretty strongly in financial wellness, but I believe it plays hand in hand with everything else employers try to do from a well-being standpoint,” says Ashley Maher-Widen, Wellmark’s own on-site retirement counselor. “You can definitely see a correlation between people who are physically healthy and mentally healthy — they’re also financially healthy.”

Offer an on-site financial counselor

By having a trusted resource at your worksite, you show your employees that financial well-being does matter. A financial counselor that's available for one-on-one meetings with employees emphasizes the importance of decisions like planning for retirement, navigating college tuition expenses and even budgeting for the holidays. This counselor can be available for one-on-one meetings and even help with financial workshops for larger groups.

Offer financial wellness workshops or education

Financial wellness workshops can cover a number of topics from budgeting and how credit works to investing for retirement and documenting wishes through a will and trust.

Maher-Widen points out how providing education on one topic, like budgeting, can help employees with other aspects of financial well-being. “I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t have budgets, which then makes it hard for them to save or work toward other long-term goals like purchasing a home or paying down debt,” she says.

Explore available tools from your company's retirement plan provider

Often, your retirement plan provider offers free calculators, tools, tips and more at no additional cost. Tap into these expert resources and encourage your employees to reference them before making any big financial decisions or during open enrollment.

Have questions or want to learn more about Wellmark's well-being and consulting services? Email us at blueatwork@wellmark.com Send Email, and we'll connect you with a Wellmark representative to learn more.