Why Are Financial Wellness Programmes Crucial for Employers?

More than 90 percent of 250 large employers want to introduce or expand their financial wellness programmes this year. So, what can they learn from the early adopters?

Why Are Financial Wellness Programmes Crucial for Employers?

11 Mar 2016 by  Edward Kennan

More employers are concerned about whether their workers are saving enough—and not just for retirement. According to a 2015 report by Aon Hewitt, more than 90 percent of 250 large global employers said they want to introduce or expand their financial wellness programmes this year.

Employers focusing on financial wellness

How can financial wellness programmes improve productivity?

There's no question that money problems stress out workers. Nearly 1 in 4 employees say their finances have been a distraction at work, according to accounting firm PwC's 2014 survey of financial wellness programmes.

In addition to explaining how to get the most from employee benefits, financial wellness programmes focus on helping employees track where their money goes, build emergency funds, and cope with financial pressures. By taking a more holistic approach to an employee's finances, these programmes also help to reduce employees’ financial stress, and in the process, improve productivity.

How have early adopters fared?

In a very prominent, real-life example, an early adopter of a Financial Wellness programme was the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) in the USA. In 2009, the NFLPA implemented its financial wellness programme to help NFL players prepare for a lockout by league owners, which happened in 2011. "We told the players that the lockout was nothing but a fire drill for when the paychecks do finally end," said Dana Hammonds, director of player services and development at the NFLPA. Given the well-documented financial troubles many NFL players have suffered after retiring from the sport, this is was an extremely relevant message.

Hammonds said the financial wellness programme has helped "provide players with leverage during points of negotiation and increase their chances of having successful transitions to their second careers."

The NFLPA offers an online financial learning centre, a phone line for money help, and a regular assessment of NFL players' financial well-being. The financial wellness assessments showed that every NFL player wanted to know more about investing and how to handle requests from family and friends asking for money. Rookies were interested in advice on buying health insurance and veteran football players clamoured for estate-planning guidance.

How does this apply to your organisation?

Whether your organisation is a professional sporting association, a multinational, or even a small- to medium-sized company, the benefits of adopting a financial wellness programme for both employee and employer cannot be understated.

From an employer perspective, a financial wellness programme can provide lower employee turnover, lower healthcare costs as a result of less financial stress taking a toll on employees, and lower absenteeism, to name a few.

From an employee perspective, it can lead to higher satisfaction and better knowledge of their employer benefits, less physical illness due to lower stress, higher productivity at work and, of course, financial security.

Start a conversation with us

If you need help to start your corporate financial wellness programme, get in touch with us today.

Edward Kennan

Edward Kennan is a Client Adviser with Aon Hewitt Wealth Management. He has more than 14 years’ experience in financial services, with a career spanning Australia, London, and Singapore. Edward helps clients make informed financial choices and ensures that they remain on track to achieve their financial goals in an environment of continuous change.

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