What would a top-level employer do if he awoke one morning to see the floor of his workplace covered with a toxic poison that was absolutely certain to cut productivity, increase down-time, and erode employee loyalty? Would he ignore the problem and go about his business as if nothing had happened? Of course not! He’d clean up the mess immediately!
Is that a silly question? Not to noted expert Dr. Tom Garman, who, for years, has been sounding a warning to business and industry by dramatically describing financial stress among employees as literally being like a poison in the workplace.
Whether you know it or not, a significant percentage of your employees come to work every day worried about their personal finances. Some are in serious trouble, facing mountains of debt, considering bankruptcy, or being hounded by lawyers and collectors. Others are already ensnared in the judicial system. They arrive distracted if they arrive at all, and they end up wasting precious work hours dealing with their money problems.
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But when employers offer a financial education benefit to their team members, they inevitably see their workers become more productive and loyal to the company. The benefit lands squarely on their bottom line!
This is no longer a matter of debate. The verdict is in. Financial education produces real results. The only remaining question is whether a given employer will attack the problem and solve it, or continue in denial, hoping that it miraculously solves itself.
The choice is obvious, isn’t it?
Implementing a successful financial wellness program in the workplace involves a five-step process: preparation, communication, motivation, facilitation and reinforcement.
Preparation can make the difference between failure and success. The company’s leaders should ask themselves what they want to achieve. They should establish goals and then get behind them by generating excitement. Motivation has to start at the top. Leaders should learn everything they can, commit themselves to making the program succeed, and then work hard to get employees interested by shining a light on the problem and on the solution.
Without effective promotion, it will be hard for the program to succeed. Communication is key in encouraging workers to get involved. Spread the word! Send emails, hang up posters, talk directly to the team—do whatever it takes to get them aware and interested in the financial education benefit. And when employees have questions, be ready with the answers.
Good incentive programs encourage higher enrollment, higher completion rates, and more positive behavior changes over the course of the program. Production-based incentives are an excellent way to let employees know how important financial education is to the company. Once team members learn that their company genuinely wants them to succeed both professionally and personally, they are more likely to get involved.
When employers want the financial education to go off without a hitch, they plan accordingly. Proper facilitation insures maximum participation and achievement from both the workers and the program. Logistics should be simplified; convenience emphasized.
As employees go through the program and gain financial wellness, it is important to reinforce what they have learned. Companies should go the extra step to make sure that their team is benefiting from the financial education. Positive reinforcement helps workers stay focused on the principles they learned in the program.
Companies that offer a financial education program to their team experience significant results—both for the employer and the employee! Workers who go through a financial wellness course are absent less often and more focused when they are present. The company’s leadership will see less turnover and fewer wasted work hours, resulting in more productivity and loyalty in the workplace.