Financial Wellness: Bringing the Focus Beyond the 401k

Financial Wellness: Bringing the Focus Beyond the 401k

September 23, 2020
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Are your Benefits Unique?

Most companies I come across try to do one of two things: be a cost leader or offer unique value. When I ask companies about why someone should use them, I get all kinds of answers as to how their product or service is different from their competitors and better. I get the same type of answers when asking why someone should work for them. But when I ask what makes their 401k or benefits competitive, I don't always get as strong an answer.

It can be easy for companies to see 401k and benefits as a checkbox to cross out rather than as strategic or a means of appreciation to their workforce. But how do you take it to the next level? A solid financial wellness strategy may be what you need.

Financial Wellness   

I’ve learned a lot about physical wellness this year. After many years of working late and eating whatever was in front of me, I decided it was time to take a step back and look at my health. While I wouldn’t mind chiseled abs, I’ve learned that physical wellness is more than physique. Physical wellness is about getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, having a balance with your family, and your work and the list can go on. Just like physical wellness, financial wellness isn’t 1-sided.

In recent years there has been a greater focus on financial wellness programs for businesses. Employees are not just concerned about retirement. They have concerns about budgeting, debt, and kids they want to send to college. Aside from the goals and ambitions employees have, they want to have an acceptable quality of life.    

The Cost

Financial Wellness programs not only help you take care of your employees by providing tools and resources for them to make solid financial decisions but from a strategic planning aspect, it can increase productivity. According to an article in 401K Specialist, "Worker Financial Stress Costs Employers $500 Billion Annually".

How Do I Start

whether you have an existing financial wellness plan or are looking to start one, the steps are the same. 

  1. Utilize the help of your professionals: Solid 401k advisors will help you get an education program put together and provide their resources to execute it. 
  2. Analyze the current situation: Look at the metrics your recordkeeper provides. Get feedback from your employees. Look for concerns and trends that are common in your workforce.
  3. Review the resources available through your providers: Often service providers, such as the recordkeeper, will have education specialists employed by their firm. Sometimes these resources cost additional fees or require a certain amount of assets under management to have access to the resources. The key is to look at your options.
  4. Plan: Create a calendar with the education meeting, topics, and resources to provide the desired workshops.  
  5. Execute the plan: It doesn't have to be perfect. The better it is advertised and communicated to the employees, the greater the likelihood of success.  

I hope this steers you in the right direction. If you need additional insights or resources, feel free to reach out to us. If you need a second opinion on your plan, please reach out.

Bibliography

Anderson, B. (2019, March 8). Panic Attack: Worker Financial Stress Costs Employers $500 Billion Annually. Retrieved from 401k Specialist: https://401kspecialistmag.com/panic-attack-worker-financial-stress-costs-employers-500-billion-annually/