In today’s corporate world, organisations and its employees are under intense pressure to perform. However, the push to remain competitive can take its toll. We are working longer hours, and with the help of technology, on call at all times. This fast-paced environment can evolve into a disengaged, unproductive and unhealthy workforce. With this, has come the emergence of ‘Wellness’, with more and more HR managers looking to implement programmes to integrate the blurred lines between work and life.
Historically, Wellness programmes have consisted of education around nutrition, exercise and health screening. Today, the concept of Wellness has expanded to include mental and emotional health, career development and the latest buzz word, financial wellness.
Aon Hewitt recently completed a 2015 Hot Topics in Retirement report which illustrated the growing focus on financial wellness. The report, based on a survey of responses from approximately 250 employers representing 6 million employees globally, illustrated that nearly all employers (93%) indicated they are very likely (46%) or moderately likely (47%) to create or focus on the financial well-being of their employees in a manner that extends beyond retirement decisions. In addition, nearly half (49%) of all respondents indicated that the significance of financial wellness concepts has increased over the last two years.
HR functions are now approaching financial wellness as seriously as physical well-being of their employees. The recognition of this, alongside programmes implemented, reward employers with greater productivity and engagement, reduced absenteeism and lower numbers of compensation.
The most common place to start includes the provision of education sessions, with the most common subject being Investment planning 101. However, 2015 is set to be the year when this offering expands. Many corporates are looking to provide support in the areas of savings for life stages, health care planning, financial planning, debt management and budgeting.
The benefits of providing such programmes over time, is that employees become less stressed, are better prepared for retirement and financially informed. (Source: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, “A Closer Look: What’s Working in Workplace Financial Education,” November 2014.)
Workplace wellness helps an employer develop its brand, employee value proposition and encourage the right behaviours amongst its talent. HR needs to be proactive to ensure they provide a holistic wellness offering to its employees and remain competitive in relation to its peers.
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