This week we were excited to announce the launch of CensiblyYours® Financial Wellness Tools, our newest innovation to help small business employers and employees make the most of their retirement plan and improve their overall financial health.
As part of our new suite of offerings, we’re providing participating savers access to Edukate, a fintech benefits platform that empowers employees through personalized financial education and guidance. So what exactly is financial wellness and how does it create a more productive, engaged workforce? We sat down with the experts at Edukate to discuss how investing in your employees’ financial well-being can set your business apart in the marketplace.
Define what financial wellness means to Edukate.
The concept of financial wellness can be a bit overwhelming as there are a number of definitions out there.
At Edukate, we believe financial wellness is the relationship between a person and their money.
A financially healthy employee is actively managing their day to day spending, is confident as to how they can protect themselves from future unexpected life events and is saving for their financial freedom.
How can companies adopt and promote financial wellness in 2019?
Open enrollment isn’t the only time you can make a difference in how your employees interact with their benefits.
Platforms like Edukate are breaking the mold of having to roll out benefits during open enrollment. The majority of Edukate’s plans are implemented outside of an open enrollment period.
When you’re looking for a financial wellness benefit, it’s important to find a platform that meets the specific needs of your organization.
For example, if employees aren’t participating in your 401(k), find out why. Employees may cite reasons such as not fully understanding the program or that they have other financial concerns they want to address first.
A strong financial wellness platform for your organization can educate users on how to use their 401(k) program and how they can tackle other debts or financial stressors to be able to start participating.
Typically, employees only hear about voluntary benefits right after launch or when they’re just starting at a company. To keep employees engaged, we recommend quarterly campaigns to ensure employees understand and feel empowered to use their benefits.
What are the key components to a company’s financial wellness program?
Like any benefit, a financial wellness program should be easy to access, administer, and use.
At Edukate, we focus on three key areas for success.
The first is employee engagement. Many employees never engage with their benefits because they’re boring and uninviting. By offering personalized guidance and interactive content, we’ve rethought employee engagement from the ground up.
The next is platform scalability. Edukate makes it easy to customize your employees’ experience, communicate with them, and get in-depth insights into how they are doing.
Lastly, is system integration. We are a one-stop benefits destination for employees by providing guidance for financial challenges and connecting them with the employer benefits that matter to them most— all while cultivating a culture of positive wellness.
Why is financial wellness important for employee retention?
There are plenty of statistics about how financial stress affects employee engagement and productivity.
When an employee is disengaged at work, the organization suffers. Lackluster productivity, absenteeism, and negative attitudes are common side effects.
When you offer benefits that employees need and want, they’re more likely to use them.
And if those benefits can help employees reduce their financial stress, productivity and engagement increases. When employees feel empowered by their benefits offerings, sentiments about their employer increase as well.
For some employees, this favorable perception of their employer drives loyalty to the organization.
The same survey also found that many employees would prefer more robust benefits offerings over an increase in salary.
Happy employees are productive employees.
How does achieving financial wellness work in tandem with saving for retirement?
Edukate’s approach to financial wellness is to help employees navigate every aspect of their financial lives, including managing their spending and saving habits, preparing for the future, and saving for retirement.
By helping employees address their financial stressors and feel more confident with their financial decisions, we believe that employees can better prepare for the future.
As employees learn about their personal finances, Edukate recommends existing employer benefits like retirement accounts to help them achieve their goals.
How does Edukate help promote financial wellness, and what inspired the company to pursue this mission?
Edukate was created with a belief that traditional retirement and financial education are broken and that there were better ways to help employees achieve their financial goals.
At Edukate, we empower employees to practice confident decision making to best utilize the benefits that matter to them most.
We accomplish this by offering an exceptional online platform that connects employees with education, tools, and benefits most relevant to their needs.
What has been the biggest barrier for small business to provide financial wellness benefits?
Even though financial wellness benefits can provide a positive return on investment, securing budget for a new benefits platform can be tough.
When working with small businesses, we work to find ways to rollout financial wellness in phases to different employee groups to give HR managers room to grow the program over time.
Why was a partnership with Ubiquity important to your company?
Partnering with Ubiquity offered Edukate a way to scale a financial wellness resource to smaller employers.
We recognize the need for small business owners to provide robust benefits to their employees. Nearly 90% of employees in the US work for employers with fewer than 20 employees.
Because retirement planning is one of the key focus areas of Edukate’s platform, partnering with Ubiquity helps us connect employees with the resources they need to fully prepare for retirement.
This blog serves as information material from Edukate and does not serve as investment advice or financial recommendations by Edukate or Ubiquity Retirement + Savings (“Ubiquity”). To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with and independent professional advisor. Both Ubiquity and Edukate are neither law firms nor certified public accounting firms and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.