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The Criticality To Ensure Employee Financial Wellness Beyond Salary A majority of the working population believe in either living paycheck to paycheck or tapping into their retirement savings much before retirement.

By Shantanu Das

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In today's world, increasingly employers across the globe are laying strong emphasis on financial wellness of their employees and strategizing to ensure employees are saving and saving the right way. A majority of the working population believe in either living paycheck to paycheck or tapping into their retirement savings much before retirement. This often results in high financial stress and insecurity, resulting in a direct and adverse impact on productivity and efficiency. A global research report suggested that workers, even those with full time and well-paying jobs, are suffering from burden of large debt, current expenditures, and expectations for future needs.

These factors and patterns have brought the topic of financial wellness to the forefront for employers who recognize the need to support their people to create an effective financial wellness ecosystem. This understanding at an employers' end is crucial to ensure employee wellness, while recognizing that this can directly affect business' success.

Having worked with many large corporate houses, I do believe that stress arising from a challenging financial situation could impact innovation-mindset, collaboration and productivity. Hence, it is imperative for any organization to have a well-rounded financial wellness programme which encourages understanding and provide in-depth knowledge of financial planning. In my view it is a must-have for every organization.

Some of the tried and tested financial wellness strategies organizations can deploy to support employees in managing their money matters:

Financial Assistance Programmes

Financial assistance programmes such as loan assistance for employees to purchase a car at subsidized rates, sponsorships to support educational aspirations of employees and most importantly, emergency loans to extend a helping hand in case of an unforeseen exigency are crucial interventions that makes the company a great place to work. These programmes go a long way in providing necessary cushion for financial wellness of employees.

Competitive Compensation

A competitive compensation package includes salaries that are at par with market standards or above. Additionally, it is important to recognize and compensate talent based on their merit to retain and attract high performing individuals who are willing to go an extra mile to contribute to the company's growth.

Employee Data

It is important to leverage employee data for analysis and insights to tailor financial wellness benefits that meet the unique financial needs of the employees. This data helps gain deep understanding of employees' savings, investments and asset allocation. Organizations should use this data to make timely interventions and communications to correct behaviors.

Employee Benefits

It is equally important to offer employee benefits to ensure the financial wellness of employees. With family's well-being being a key priority and rising medical costs, employers today ought to offer medical cover, which includes employees' families. In addition to the basic medical cover, organization today are going an extra mile to offer perks such as medical top-ups, wherein employees can choose to increase their insurance coverage by paying a subsidized premium.

In-house facilities such as gyms, child daycare centers, pick-up and drop shuttle and cab services, flexible work from home policies are an added bonus, which promise an employee's well-being while keeping financial stress at bay.

As an employer, it becomes our responsibility to educate and empower our employees to understand the importance of financial wellness. The good news is that today most organizations identify this essential need and are taking concrete steps to ensure financial wellness of its employees. They are providing financial education through financial workshops, webcasts, one-on-one coaching, technology-based platforms or fetching external experts to help employees. These are a few useful ways to interact with employees for financial wellness. Companies are realizing that for a more holistic well-being of employees, all four aspects—physical, emotional, financial and family well-being have to be addressed. Therefore, most organizations today are laying equal emphasis on all four aspects to ensure employees' growth and prosperity.

Shantanu Das

Chief Human Resource Officer, Amway

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