In a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic completely changed our world, affecting the workforce in unprecedented ways. As the virus dramatically impacted the global economy, employees found themselves with feelings of financial strain, insecurity and concern for their financial future. This only added to what was already one of the number one stressors according to American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey, with 60% of Americans reporting money as a significant source of stress.
MetLife’s Employee Benefit Trends Study states that in a post COVID-19 world, the “new normal” calls for enhanced employee financial wellness for better management of work-life stress. 55% of employees who struggle are expected to postpone their retirement due to their financial situation. Plus, 52% of employees said they are concerned about their financial health in the wake of the pandemic. Employees with poor financial health also rated their mental, social and physical health significantly lower than the average.
A PWC recent survey also notes that in 2020, employers need to recognize the economic realities of COVID-19 and understand the important role they can play in helping reduce financial difficulties and stress their employees will likely encounter. Employees will need objective guidance as they recover financially and strive to protect themselves from future financial issues, and employers have a unique opportunity to help.
However, the impact of financial wellness doesn’t stop with employees. Employers will often feel the effects of their workforces’ financial strain, from losses in productivity to losses in talent. In fact, U.S. businesses are losing $500 billion a year because of employees’ personal financial stress, according to Salary Finance. In a recent survey from Prudential Financial, nearly three-quarters of respondents said programs such as financial wellness tools are a big reason they would stay at a job, up dramatically from a year ago.
The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits Report found that employees are spending a median of 100 hours at work per year on personal financial matters, while PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that financial stress is a major productivity disruption with one-third of employees saying they’re distracted by finances while at work. Additionally, 78% of employees that are stressed about finances said they’re more likely to be attracted to employers who offer financial wellness benefits.
Furthermore, we are seeing firsthand the increased demand from employees for financial guidance. In a recent survey of our members, more than half said their stress has increased surrounding their finances related to the pandemic.
Cleary, employees have never needed financial guidance more, and they turning to their employers’ benefit programs seeking help and reassurance. Many employers are responding by offering employees access to free services that provide knowledge and support. Here are just a few programs to consider.
Financial Wellness Programs
These programs are crucial to help improve employees’ financial literacy, offering personalized guidance for their unique financial situation. Now more than ever it’s vital that employees receive the financial wellness guidance and tools that can help them make the most of their money today, prepare for the impacts of hard times and plan for a secure financial future.
As employees face financial struggles brought on by the pandemic, offering employees an easy to access, complimentary discount program that can help them save on the things they need now, including school supplies, electronics, groceries, meal delivery, child care, home office equipment, and more, is a great way employers can alleviate some of their financial burden.
Ongoing Financial Support
Researching solutions for all of these unique financial needs is time-consuming, no doubt impacting employees’ focus at work. Plus, having to locate resources and information can be challenging and confusing. Offering ongoing care financial support programs where a team of experts do the research, refer solutions and provide on-demand online resources and tools, will save employees stress, money and time.
Care Subsidy Administration
Understanding the new child care demand on employees, many forward-thinking employers are offering relief for employees, but can then be burdened by implementing and running the program functions. Subsidy administration programs can help you manage and administer any financial relief you may be offering to working parents, saving your team time and stress.
It’s evident that now more than ever, receiving financial guidance employee benefits is vital for employees to help them improve their financial wellness so they can reach both short and long term financial goals. LifeCare’s high-impact financial support services are designed to empower employees by increasing their financial literacy and reducing stress. To learn more about how we can help you offer a customized financial wellness program contact us here or call us at (866) 675-3751.