All employees are affected by financial wellness to some degree, and this area is a huge opportunity for employers everywhere.
That’s what MetLife VP Jeffrey P. Tulloch told a jam-packed room of attendees at the 2017 SHRM Conference & Exposition in New Orleans.
Tulloch urged attendees to take advantage of that opportunity through outside-the-box solutions to complex challenge of crafting a financial wellness program that takes into account the many different types of financial situations among the average company’s workforce.
To help employers with this challenge, Tulloch offered what he called a “four step framework for workplace financial wellness success.” It includes:

1. Understanding your employee needs

Each company has different needs when it comes to financial wellness. How do you determine your company’s? By analyzing your demographics and looking into (via surveys, etc.) workers’ financial acumen, priorities, financial preparedness, access to personal guidance, financial wellness objectives, and any other relevant data points.

2. Tailor your program to workers’ needs

Once you have the data, it’s time to customize your financial wellness efforts to your workers’ unique needs. Some key questions to ask during this step:
What is included with the program? Look into the:

  • Short-term and long-term needs
  • Education and tools that would work best for your company, and
  • The range of benefits offered.

How will employees get the guidance to take action? The program should include both high-tech and high-touch (i.e., personal and in-person) aspects.
Who will be involved? Most successful programs rely on a combination of internal (i.e., execs, department managers) and external (partners, vendors, etc.) collaboration.

3. Drive engagement and action

Getting workers engaged and ready to take action involves a combination of:

  • Ongoing communication
  • Executive buy-in
  • Branding
  • Personal consultation, and
  • Access (it has to be easy and convenient for staffers to participate).

4. Evaluate and evolve based on engagement

The only way is determine whether or not your program is actually working is by measuring its progress. Here are some benchmarks that should be analyzed regularly:

  • Participation
  • Attendance, and
  • Survey results.

You may also want to look into the Value on Investment (VOI) vs. the Return on Investment (ROI) on your program.
Key: Tulloch stressed the fact that implementing a financial wellness program for employees isn’t a “once and done” event. It’s an ongoing process that will constantly be evolving with employees’ needs.