Helping your employees manage stress — especially when it comes to finances — is a business imperative. MetLife’s 16th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS), released in 2018, found that 46% of employees feel overwhelmed by financial decisions and over half (53%) worry about the future because of their current financial situation. And they’re looking to their employers for help — 50% of employees say that employers are responsible for their financial well-being.

The first step in creating a successful financial wellness program is to understand what your employees really need. An assessment focused on three key areas of information can get you started:

1. Understand the demographic makeup of your workforce.

Knowing the age, generation, life stage, marital status, family structure, income and financial circumstances of your employees is the only way to design a program that’s relevant to everyone’s priorities. For example, Gen Z and Millennials may place a higher importance on student debt reduction programs, or as new parents, may be more interested in life insurance benefits.

2. Analyze data on your existing benefit plans.

Take a closer look at how your workforce is currently participating in retirement plans or other benefits you currently offer. Reviewing contribution rates, average balances or coverage amounts can reveal whether or not your employees really have the protection they need.

3. Assess your employees' financial knowledge

To truly understand your employees’ financial challenges, you’ll need to understand more about their financial behaviors, like how they approach basic money management, investing, retirement and taxes. In-depth surveys, observations or focus groups can be a great way to gather this information.

Learn how to build an effective financial needs assessment in “Deciphering Financial Anxiety”, available for download here.

Posted: August 10, 2018