Step 2: Make a Plan for Your Business

This is a great opportunity for you to take inventory, figure out what results you want to see from the plan you choose, and decide how you’re going to measure those results over time. Start by asking yourself these three questions:

What Do You Currently Offer Your Employees?

Maybe you have something in place already to encourage financial wellness. But is it getting results? You may offer a financial literacy course, education on your retirement program or maybe even a budgeting app. These things can help, but they just don’t do enough to move the needle for your team.

It’s well known that financial literacy courses alone aren’t very effective in the long run.1 And while budgeting is essential, your employees also need a plan that shows them step-by-step how to change their behavior with money. That’s the only way they’ll get on track in a way that sticks for the long haul.

How Will You Track Progress and Measure Success?

The answer is simple: financial life-change! Real progress happens when your team takes control of their money—so their money no longer has control of them.

The problem with a lot of financial wellness programs out there is that they can’t effectively measure employee success, which means you can’t see if they’re working or not. Why? Well, the sad truth is that many of these programs just don’t work. And their lack of clarity in reporting isn’t an accident—it’s designed to cover up that fact.

Start by finding a program that lets you see the real life-change for your employees. What does that look like? It looks like a program that comes with real-time reporting on how your team is doing while working the plan.

Nicole is paying down her student loans.

When you’re able to keep your finger on the pulse of your financial wellness program, you’ll know whether it’s working, and you’ll find new opportunities to cheer your employees on.

What’s the ROI?

The business cost of your employees not having financial wellness is steep. For example, did you know that lost productivity and increased turnover costs due to financial stress makes up 11–14% of the average employer’s payroll expense?2 That’s easy math.

We also mentioned earlier that half of employees report spending one to five hours per week thinking about their stress at work.3 The average full-time hourly wage in America is a little over $23 an hour. So, that means the average cost just of your employees being distracted by stress can be up to $115 per week per employee. And, as if that’s not enough, consider the average cost of unscheduled absenteeism: It breaks down to about $4,000 per year per employee, adjusted for inflation.4  Yeah, we’re sweating too!

A little employee financial wellness could go a long way for everyone. And a team that has bought in to turning their financial lives around for good? That ROI doesn’t just have a dollar sign in front of it.

1. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012
2. WorldAtWork, 2019
3. Colonial Life, 2019
4. Circadian, 2020