Financial wellness continues to be one of most frequently discussed topics in the retirement plan consulting and advisory ecosystem. Financial stress affects almost half of the U.S. population and impacts employees more than job, health and relationship stress COMBINED. A successful financial wellness program can be extremely beneficial for both employers and employees in managing this stress. That said, there are several key components that a program must include to provide impactful, lasting change.
A successful financial wellness program starts by understanding the needs of the company and its employees. This initial engagement is one of the most important steps in the entire process. Ask good questions and pay close attention to all responses. This is the surest way to provide a truly personalized solution that is tailored to fit that company’s and their employees’ most critical needs.
The next step is to pinpoint the best practices the company uses internally to communicate important messages. You could have the best program in the world, but if the employees don’t hear about it, you’ve already lost. Understanding these best practices will also help to determine if education is best received online, over the phone or in person.
Deliver the Solution
Once you understand the specific company needs and how to best reach its employees, the next step is delivering the solution. There are essentially three different ways for delivering financial wellness:
- Phone Support Only
- Technology/Online with phone support
- In-Person + Technology/Online + Phone Support
At the core of Financial Fitness for Life is the belief that in-person and ongoing financial coaching is the best way to change behavior and achieve financial well-being over the long term. After that foundation has been established with personalized coaching, the introduction of technology will reinforce behavior and facilitate lasting change.
Our unique Financial Fitness Technology Platform will help a participant to understand where they are in their own financial wellness journey along with personalized action items to make improvements. No time will be lost or wasted going through topics that are not relevant to that person’s situation. The end result will be a truly personalized education experience that can have an immediate positive impact.
The last step in creating a successful financial wellness program is focused on measuring progress. While qualitative data needs to be reported, it’s vital to include quantitative results as well to highlight the program’s overall impact. And this holds true for both the employer and the employee. The employee needs to see how much progress they’ve made and the steps they should take next for continued improvement. The employer needs to see real-time data and comprehensive reporting of the overall education experience to ensure the program is having a positive impact on their employees and the company overall as well as next steps.
Financial wellness is a journey, not a destination. There is a huge opportunity to help millions of Americans reduce their financial stress and improve their lives. I encourage you to take a closer look at your financial wellness program to make sure that you are setting yourself, your company and your employees up for success in this journey!
Advisory services offered through Fiduciary Investment Trusts, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fiduciary Investment Trusts, LLC doing business as Financial Fitness for Life (“FF4L”). FF4L: 6201 College Blvd., 7th Floor, Overland Park, KS 66211.