high rates of inflation, Continued market volatility And the steady rhythm of layoffs Make financial benefits a top priority. As many as 43% of employers, for example, indicated that employees have requested fiscal measures to offset higher inflation, according to recent study by Mercer.
Amid these challenges, employees are demanding more support from their employers when navigating their path to financial wellness. But there is still a break between the high demand for Financial Wellness Benefits and employees who already use all the benefits available to them.
Counselors can help employers uncover knowledge gaps in employees who need support but are not taking full advantage of it. Benefits Packages, especially younger workers. By developing educational tools to help employees better understand the benefits, consultants can not only increase the return on investment on these financial investments, but they can also foster partnerships with employers seeking their help to retain valuable talent.
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The demand for employer-based financial assistance has never been stronger. newly Work improvement survey It found that 65% of employees expect their employer to offer them more financial benefits than they did before the pandemic.
Despite these expectations, only a quarter of the employees surveyed benefited from a small portion of the financial benefits offered to them, or none at all. Only 26% of Generation Z benefit from all of their employer’s financial wellbeing offerings compared to 32% of Millennials, 38% of Generation X and 28% of Boomers. with More than a quarter of Generation Z. I’m not sure they’ll save enough for retirement, it’s crucial that counselors help employers educate their workforce about benefits so that new employees can start to benefit and set themselves up for success once they start a new role.
If employees crave financial benefits but do not use them, the question becomes Why. Betterment in Work found that one of the main reasons is a lack of knowledge – 36% of employees are not clear about the benefits offered by employers. Likewise, 11% do not even know how to register for these benefits completely, which, in the age of remote work, may be a symptom of not spending time with leaders who can guide employees through the step-by-step process of registering.
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The easiest way for employers to improve employee satisfaction with their financial wellness offerings is to make sure employees know how to take advantage of the benefits they actually offer. Counselors can advise employers to provide clear and regular communication about benefit programs to help employees understand what is offered, how and when to enroll, and when to re-engage with certain offerings. For example, counselors can suggest email reminders to raise 401(k) contribution rates, instructions on how to use a wellness paycheck or make an appointment with a financial advisor.
Another reason employees may not take advantage of the benefits offered by their employers is simple – they don’t want those benefits. Betterment at Work found that 30% of employees do not use all of the benefits offered by their employer because they do not need each individual benefit. The benefits that pre-pandemic employers offered (i.e. commuting stipends and free office snacks) may no longer make sense in the hybrid world of work and home office settings.
Counselors should direct employers to ask employees for feedback on the financial wellness benefits they currently offer. This can help companies determine which benefits are most beneficial, what is missing from their packages and what can be cut to make room for offers that are in high demand since the pandemic began. Examples include emergency funds sponsored by an employer or a cash reserve to set aside for unexpected expenses and accidents.
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This shows employees’ increased appetite for employers to help guide them to accumulate savings in an emergency. In the wake of Biden administration Student loan forgiveness announcement in August, student loan management is also a top priority for many employees. Employers have the opportunity to be a resource for these employees, providing student loan management solutions to enable employees to control student debt repayment plans without changing the entire financial planning strategy using educational information and tools.
As many as 78% of employees surveyed said they want their employers to communicate more proactively and clearly the financial wellness benefits they offer. It is clear that employees are not only looking for an easy-to-use benefits platform that outlines their options, but also more communication from employers about these benefits to help them understand. It is up to employers to come forward and answer the call. Whether it is through teaching tools or listening and learning to understand which benefits will be most valuable, employers have the opportunity not only to help their employees take advantage of their benefit packages, but also to show how much they value employees and their financial freedom.
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