During a webcast, Liz Davidson, CEO of Financial Finesse, said the benefits of adding a financial wellness program include increasing employee productivity; reducing health care costs; lowering the risk of delayed retirement; creating satisfaction with benefits; and reducing unionization risk. Financial Finesse’s guide, soon to be released, outlines the steps employers can take to build programs for their companies.
Davidson highlighted these steps in implementing a successful program:
- “Show the win.” Employees are more likely to develop better habits if they see the benefits their behavioral changes can produce first.
- Develop a marketing strategy. Naming the program a “benefit” is more effective than verbiage such as “service” or “tool.” At introductory meetings, gift cards or raffles offer an incentive, and create a positive atmosphere, engaging employees.
- Measure employee usage. Using an online registration portal and assigning ID numbers helps keep track of usage. Vendor analysis can show which strategies are most popular and effective among your employees, using these numbers, clarifying what is happening in terms of asset allocation changes, participation, etc.
- Appeal to employees’ reason. Offering a few key steps – no more than five in any educational session – can motivate employees without making the changes seem too difficult or daunting.
- Finally, promote habit development. Compulsive buying is a habit related to a society that values instant gratification, but new, savings-related routines can be cultivated.
Once new habits are formed, find a way to ensure that there is lasting change. According to Davidson, a 30-day behavioral study can show the short- and long-term benefits of such a financial “fitness” routine.
“The reality is, you have to do best practices in all areas because it is a giant hill to climb,” Davidson said.
Click here for an abstract of the guide and for purchasing information.