Why it’s time to be inclusive and sensitive to employee’s financial well-being.
The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic intensifies the importance of employees’ financial well-being. While overshadowed by physical and mental health concerns, the financial stress resulting from COVID-19, market volatility, and shut-downs has left many swimming in uncertainty.
Unfortunately, financial stress is only the beginning. The financial ramifications of the pandemic will ripple into the future. More serious struggles will manifest weeks and months from now.
Maybe you have a thriving financial wellness strategy, there to help employees with all their money decisions. Or maybe that strategy initially generated interest but has since fizzled. Wherever you are at, your employees need help – right here and right now.
So what can you do?
Acknowledge the significance of the times we’re facing and plan how your will provide resources for your employees. Financial decisions made in haste out of feelings of fear or panic can dramatically impact long-term outcomes. That sounds like a serious and scary conversation in and of itself! But it doesn’t have to be – Take a look:
To Do: Consider sharing this video or something similar with your workforce to calm their financial fears.
In times of uncertainty, reassurance is key. Knowing others share similar concerns and hearing from subject matter experts can ease anxiety. But ultimately, your employees want action steps. It helps to have a wider perspective of how this pandemic impacts their financial situations, as discussed here:
To Do: Consider offering a similar learning session with an existing provider to empower your employees with a wider perspective. Or, share this one.
Your employees are looking for leadership at a time when an overwhelming amount of information is available. Take advantage of their attention. Instead of the same old approach, you can communicate in ways that are current, relevant, and engaging. Here’s an example:
To Do: Be mindful of employees’ fears and concerns, but don’t let today’s challenges prevent you from trying something different.
What if you used video updates from wellness champions to encourage utilization of the financial help your organization provides? You could host virtual “money tip” coffee breaks or even monthly interactive webinars on various financial topics. What you use now to connect with employees might become the new “normal.”
One More To Do
Now perhaps more so than ever, you must evaluate if your employees have the resources they need to address their financial well-being. How would you answer the following questions?
- Do we have an up-to-date understanding of what kind of financial help our employees need? Remember, don’t misinterpret silence to mean, “Everything is okay.”
- Do our employees have go-to resources for financial help? If you have resources in place, promoting these resources is key. Oftentimes employees are not fully aware of the helpful opportunities available.
- Is the financial help employees receive general in nature or is it specific to each employee’s personal situation? General education can be a great place to start, but true change is driven by personalized action steps. Make sure your approach gives employees the chance to address their specific needs.
- Are the financial resources provided in reality a funnel for specific products or services that employees must purchase? Specific products or services may be helpful, but make sure you understand what is being offered to your employees. As an organization, you need to feel comfortable placing your endorsement on these resources.
If these questions open your eyes to a gap in your financial wellness efforts, reach out for help. Existing service providers or resource groups (like The Wellness Council of Wisconsin)
will have ideas to get you started.
Challenging times could set you back; or, they could be a catalyst for long-lasting change. Make sure you’re addressing financial well-being at a time your employees need help the most.
Francis Investment Counsel is pleased to provide the resources and information detailed to Wellness Council of Wisconsin members. For additional COVID-19 employee resources, visit our website or contact Anne Loppnow.
Francis Investment Counsel is an employee-owned investment advisor that helps companies design and operate the best retirement plans possible. Our team helps employees become better family finance managers through our MoneyAdvice@Work® Financial Wellness Services. With decades of experience, we exclusively focus on connecting the people we serve directly to the expert advice they need, all within the safety of a sales-free environment.
Business Development Consultant
Francis Investment Counsel LLC
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