Student loan debt, rising healthcare costs, and stagnant wages are constantly making headlines in the news, so it should come as no surprise that 80% of employees are stressed about their finances, according to a new Ceridian survey. Should employers be offering financial wellness benefits to help ease these burdens and attract top talent?
Global human capital management software company, Ceridian, has released its inaugural “Pay Experience Report,” which reveals workers are challenged by financial matters that impact life at work and outside of work, including:
- Prevalence of stress: 80% of North American workers are stressed to some capacity about pay and money issues on a regular basis.
- Pay transparency: Only 30% of workers are completely satisfied when it comes to transparency of information about their pay.
- Pay equity: Not making a good salary is the leading factor for female workers not being satisfied with their employer (51% of women listed pay, versus 35% of men).
- Communication: While a big part of creating a positive compensation experience comes down to communication, more than one-in-three (37%) surveyed do not feel comfortable discussing their pay with their manager.
“The demands and expectations of employees in today’s workforce are significantly different than two or three decades ago when most company leaders began their careers,” said Lisa Sterling, Chief People and Culture Officer, Ceridian—in a press release announcing the survey report. “It’s unacceptable that the gender-pay gap remains a persistent issue, with only 53 percent of women believing they are paid equal to their male counterparts. Solving this requires employers to prioritize transparency and lean into new technologies that will help them embrace an equal value approach to pay.”
Financial Wellness Is Not a Priority Among Employers
Much has been said about the burden that comes with the rising cost of living and the surge in consumer debt. With the majority of workers carrying personal financial stress into the workplace, payday can be a source of anxiety when compensation doesn’t meet their lifestyle and financial needs.
Respondents said for any large, unexpected expenses, they would have to resort to their credit card (31%) or borrow money from family and friends (11%), compounding their worries.
The survey shows some employers could probably do more to support their people, with nearly one-third of employees (27%) believing their employers do not care about their financial wellbeing, and only a quarter believing they care “very much” (24%).
“Companies need to walk the talk and implement employee-centric programs prioritizing financial wellness,” said Sterling. “Not only will these initiatives help attract and retain top talent in today’s competitive job market, it’s simply the right thing to do.”
Providing Financial Wellness to Workers
If your company currently does not offer financial wellness benefits, you’re at a disadvantage. As mentioned above, these types of programs may not be a priority to employers, but they are to jobseekers. If your company doesn’t have these benefits or doesn’t showcase them in your benefits package, you’ll be missing out on recruiting top talent. To implement financial wellness benefits in your company’s benefit’s package, take these tips from David Freedman—General Manager of LifePlan, LegalZoom—into consideration.
“Not all financial wellness plans are created equal,” Freedman says. “For example, some only provide tax or retirement advice. However, the most well-rounded financial wellness plans should include two things: access to a Certified Financial Planner and complementary assets, including legal plans or identity theft protection (which are often necessary alongside financial services). With a holistic financial plan in place, employees will feel assured that their company has their back no matter what life throws at them—and all the advice they may need is easily accessible in one place.”
Freedman offers a few examples to back up this advice: “If employees find themselves with a life-threatening illness, medical leave may not be enough. With the support of a comprehensive financial wellness plan, employees can get help figuring out how to finance their care or navigating hospital documents or estate plans. When faced with health problems, the last thing an employee wants to think about is paying bills or unpacking legal jargon.”
If you’re looking for a less stressed workforce, financial wellness benefits are a must have. These programs are also a great way to get employees prepared for the future. Freedman says, “Take sending a child off to college—this can be a process that takes years of planning. A Certified Financial Planner can help parents responsibly save money while their children are young or fill out student loan applications when that time comes. Or, newlyweds may benefit from an attorney’s help with a prenuptial agreement or tax assistance with a new double-income status.”
“Financial wellness plans are genuinely useful to employees, helping them to tackle all of life’s moments outside of work,” Freedman adds. “While snacks in the office and company outings are great, these kinds of benefits may no longer be enough for HR departments looking to bring in top candidates.”
With 80% of employees feeling stressed about their finances, we can easily say: yes, jobseekers do want financial wellness benefits. So, what are you waiting for? Start offering them today!