In recent years, many businesses have initiated wellness programs for their employees. The ideal settings for wellness programs are hospitals and other health care facilities. Both inner city and community-based hospitals have really increased the use of these programs to not only focus on preventative care (diet, exercise, smoking cessation programs and nutrition counseling), but also on financial wellness programs.
It is the assumption that a health care environment should naturally implement physical wellness into their organization; however, the area regarding their employees’ financial wellness is not often addressed. Some employees show up for work, bringing their financial concerns with them. This only leads to increased absenteeism, frequent personal phone calls, lack of ability to concentrate, risk of fraud and/or theft.
Not only is implementing a wellness program effective in reducing the company’s health care costs, it can be leveraged to reduce the employee’s financial stress which will increase their job satisfaction and morale. Increased employee productivity is a more substantial benefit of a corporate financial wellness program for a majority of companies rather than reduced insurance costs.
There are a variety of financial wellness programs that employers may provide.
Employers may choose to have their benefits providers reach out to employees or have their employees access a website hosted by a third party to answer questions and route them to providers of various financial services.
Some employers take the financial wellness a little more seriously and offer on- site educational sessions to their employees in group settings. The sessions may include a number of beneficial topics such as debt management, cash flow management, savings strategies, tax saving strategies, estate planning techniques, insurance education, etc.
Some employers take it even a step further and include an opportunity for their employees to meet one-on-one with an experienced financial adviser that may help them better understand how to best integrate their current benefit programs with their personal financial and retirement plans.
When implemented properly, any of the programs listed will help increase the financial wellness of a company’s employees. Financial wellness will lead to higher productivity, retention and overall job satisfaction, but unfortunately this information cannot easily be quantified.
Trying to assess the true return on investment of a wellness program is difficult due to the many intangible benefits that may be derived from the successful implementation of a wellness program. There are websites that help a company calculate the savings of these types of programs. It should be noted that few wellness programs offer a return within the first year. The more input an organization gets from their employees will increase the odds of success of any wellness program.