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Financial health is important for anyone, whether you’re an employer or an employee. Yet it is something many people across all generations have difficulty managing. As an employer, are you providing the right financial wellness programs to meet the needs of your employees?
Millennials, in particular, are struggling more financially than other age groups with increasing student loan debt and lack of savings. This is in part due to poor financial literacy and lack of resources currently available to help with financial planning.
According to an article from Employee Benefits News, “37% of millennials would not be able to come up with $2,000 in 30 days.” Many millennials are living from one paycheck to the next with just enough money and no long-term savings. It is predicted that 50% of the workforce will be millennials in 2020 and they will have a significant impact on the economy.
This article also references a study conducted by the TIAA Institute. The study compared financial data of millennials who recently joined the workforce to data of those who entered the workforce 10 years ago. The results: Compared to their colleagues, millennials have more debt and less savings, and many don’t have a solid grasp on good financial practices.
As for other generations, Gen X employees are faced with financial challenges like sending their children to college or caring for a parent. This group needs help with managing their finances as well. And when baby boomers were asked about financial concerns, their answers were more focused on managing retirement savings. An article by Plansponsor explains that all generations think they are doing worse financially than the generations that came before them.
As an employer, offering financial wellness programs is one way to help all generations in your workplace improve their understanding and practice of financial literacy – and can reduce financial stress. As defined by Zenefits these programs are “intended to educate employees by ultimately increasing their financial well being.” Offering programs like this can also help calm employee anxiety about finances, allowing you as an employer to foster a more productive work environment.
Stephanie Bell-Rose, head of the TIAA Institute, emphasizes that the results of the TIAA study should be taken as a wakeup call to employers and adds that “those who care about the economy should support financial education in the workplace to help employees obtain a financially secure future.”
Regardless of the age of your workforce, the best way to get started with financial wellness programs is by understanding your employees’ financial needs and then researching the best options to help them achieve their goals. Programs to consider include 401k education, financial counseling, and platforms to assist with managing money.
If you’re uncertain about what financial wellness programs would be most beneficial for your organization, contact Apex HR Consultant Brooke Salazar, JD, PHR for more information.