Employee benefits are becoming increasingly competitive. Gone are the days when you only needed a robust health insurance program to survive. People are expecting more from their employer, and you’ll have to comply to get the best job candidates.
Airbnb is offering travel stipends, Twitter employees get laundry and dry-cleaning services, and Netflix provides a full year for maternity and paternity leave. Those benefits can all add up very quickly, but don’t panic if your company doesn’t have that large of a benefits budget. Financial wellness benefits are wildly popular, effective, and cheap to implement.
What is Financial Wellness?
Financial wellness is a term that describes not necessarily how much money a person earns, but how healthy their accounts and their credit are, overall. There are plenty of high-earners who live paycheck to paycheck either due to financial illiteracy or unfortunate circumstances. A CareerBuilder study showed that one out of every ten Americans earning over $100,000/year live paycheck to paycheck.
Financial wellness affects every single person on this planet. No matter how much money you bring in on a regular basis, you have to manage it in one way or another. Of course, we don’t always have full control over our finances. Even the most budget-savvy and intelligent workers may run into problems with high medical bills or other financial disasters. However, everyone can practice financial wellness in the hopes that they may prosper.
Is Financial Literacy the Same as Financial Wellness?
The terms “financial wellness” and “financial literacy” are often used interchangeably, but they’re different concepts. Financial wellness refers to entire financial wellbeing. Someone who is “financially well” is someone with no debt, no outstanding bills, a sizable savings account, a retirement plan, etc. Financial literacy means having financial knowledge.
Anyone could be financially literate without being financially “well.” There are plenty of people who know exactly what they should be doing to be in a great financial state, but they either don’t do it or are incapable due to circumstances beyond their control.
Financial Literacy vs. Financial Capability
While financial literacy refers to knowledge, financial capability refers to action. Financial wellness encompasses both of these pieces.
Financial capability is not usually a choice. You can be financially capable of reducing your debt, but not financially literate enough to know how to do it. You can also be financially literate enough to have great credit, but not financially capable enough to make it happen due to circumstances beyond your control.
The Benefits of an Employee Financial Wellness Program
Seventy-eight percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, even high-earners, so you can’t deny that your employees would benefit from a financial wellness program. However, while it might be nice to offer a program for the greater good, you’re probably wondering, “great, but what’s in it for me?”
Offering a voluntary financial wellness program for employees as a part of your benefits package can help improve your employee retention rates, increase employee productivity, and double the number of job applications you’re receiving. How? Like this:
- While financial wellness programs in the workplace are becoming increasingly popular every day, they aren’t widely used, yet — so you’ll stand out among your competitors as an A+ employer.
- Some of your employees may start to rely on your financial wellness program — and won’t want to leave a company that is helping them get on track.
- Employees who have access to financial benefits such as early pay or a financial management app where they can see their cash flow in real-time are more likely to pick up additional shifts or put in overtime when needed.
What is a Financial Wellness Program for Employees?
A financial wellness program educates and provides tools for achieving overall financial wellness. Financial wellness programs in the workplace help employees feel protected by their employer while helping them grow personally. These programs lead to happier, healthier employees who show up to work. They’re also enticing to job seekers.
There is an overabundance of financial information out there, as well as far too many payday lenders and predatory financial institutions. Your employees want to trust you far more than they trust banks and lenders.
By offering financial assistance, you are giving your employees a great reason to stick around and work hard.
What do Financial Wellness Programs in the Workplace Offer?
Some financial wellness program ideas are:
- Paycheck advances/earned wage access
- Debt reduction assistance
- Student loan repayment services
- Credit-building opportunities
- Budgeting tools or templates
- Financial literacy materials
- Retirement planning assistance
- On-call financial advisors
- Crisis management
- Free or reduced tax accountant services
- 401k, if possible
- Stock options, if possible
Free Financial Wellness Tools
The Rain financial wellness platform is very quick and easy to set up, and includes most of the things you need for a comprehensive financial wellness program. However, we recommend these additional resources:
Free credit score checker, tax filing, loan quotes, and savings accounts.
Enter just a few of your monthly expenditures and your household income to receive a letter grade on your financial health and find out what you might need to change.
A modern approach to the stock market, with no commission fees. Invest by the dollar amount and build a balanced portfolio.
Rain’s Financial Wellness Solution
Here at Rain, we’re working hard to provide an all-encompassing financial wellness solution for your employees.
Our main product is our early wage access feature, also known as earned wage access or on-demand pay. Through the Rain app, your employees can withdraw a portion of the wages they’ve already earned but haven’t been paid for yet. For example, an employee who isn’t getting paid until Friday, but has a bill due on Wednesday, can withdraw what they need to avoid overdrafting on their account (for a small transaction fee, similar to an ATM charge). The rest of their paycheck would arrive according to your normal pay schedule — and you would reimburse Rain for their withdrawal on payday as well. It’s easy and doesn’t cost you a dime.
We’re also offering checking accounts with debit cards for all users. Your employees can choose to stick to their current methods or switch to their Rain debit card, making their earned funds more accessible. This option is especially useful for people who don’t have or can’t open a traditional checking account. While Rain is not a bank, our debit cards function like prepaid debit cards, allowing users to load their income onto a card that they can use anywhere that accepts Mastercard.
Another very useful tool is our bill alert system. As long as a user gives us permission to read their accounts, our app can display their upcoming bills and send alerts when they are at risk of overdrafting — at which point, they will be able to go in and withdraw some of their earned wages before payday. Plus, users can take advantage of our saving and budgeting tools as well as our financial concierge.
We’re also working on developing an elearning platform that can provide the educational portion of your comprehensive employee financial wellness benefits program.
When you sign up for Rain (100% free for employers), you get happier, healthier employees, and your employees gain financial freedom.
About the Author
Anastasia is the Marketing lead at Rain. When she's not fighting the good fight to end predatory financial products, you can find her volunteering at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee or relaxing with her fiance and their two cats, two dogs, and hedgehog.