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employee financial wellness

How to navigate employee financial wellness through personalized benefits and education

February 15, 2024

Employee financial wellness is at its lowest point in years as we face economic uncertainties and challenges, prompting individuals to turn to their employers for support. This time of financial difficulties indicates a need for a more personalized benefits experience and comprehensive education to empower employees to confidently manage their finances and engage with their benefits.

Read the rest of our benefits engagement four-part series here:

Navigating financial wellness

According to a recent survey:

  • 45% of employees are not saving specifically for healthcare: The significant gap in financial planning and benefits comprehension that exists among employees today means the workforce is less likely to be prepared for future health costs. If employees understand how to best use their benefits to save for healthcare needs, they will have peace of mind when it comes to saving for the future.
  • Employee confidence with managing health care costs decreased 16%: As navigating healthcare becomes increasingly more complex, it’s more important than ever for employees to understand and fully engage with their benefits options.
  • 76% of employees and 96% of employers say employers are responsible for financial wellness: The majority of employees and employers believe that organizations bear the responsibility for growing financial wellness among their workforce, meaning your employee benefits strategy should be top of mind at all times.

Financial education resources

WEX recently conducted a survey with our employer and consultant advisory boards about financial wellness and employee benefits engagement. One-fifth of respondents listed a lack of financial education resources as a top reason for low financial wellness among employees.

Employees lacking access to financial and benefits education resources may struggle with basic financial management, leading to increased stress and reduced overall employee wellness. This, in turn, has a direct impact on the utilization and effectiveness of employee benefits, since employees may not fully understand the value of their benefits packages and will be less likely to engage with their benefits. Employees may struggle to make informed choices regarding their benefits, such as with retirement planning or healthcare options, which lessens the impact of these valuable offerings you’re providing them. 

Employee financial wellness strategies

These concerning statistics and insights show just how important it is for employers to take steps to address the financial wellness of their workforce. Here are some strategies to consider:

Offer personalized benefits packages

Employers should offer a diverse range of benefits that meet the unique needs of their employees. This could include health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs), voluntary benefits, and other financial perks.

Provide financial education programs

Providing consistent and easily accessible benefits education resources is another great way to improve financial literacy and benefits engagement. These programs could cover topics such as saving for healthcare, investing, and retirement planning. By providing employees with the knowledge they need, employers empower them to make informed benefits decisions.

Utilize technology

Use technology to make financial education resources and benefits guidance easily accessible. Digital benefits platforms and mobile apps offer interactive tools such as personalized benefits dashboards, benefits calculators (like an HSA calculator), and benefits decision-support tools that allow employees to access their benefits at any time and easily visualize their benefits options. Additionally, chatbots and virtual assistants can provide real-time answers to employees’ questions. Employers can also use data analytics to tailor benefits communication based on individual preferences and needs. Integrating technology into benefits education not only improves understanding but also makes the learning experience more specific to each employee’s unique circumstances.

Overcome the benefits engagement barrier

Check out our guide to learn more about how to improve financial wellness and benefits engagement at your company!

The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own legal counsel, tax and investment advisers. 

WEX receives compensation from some of the merchants identified in its blog posts. By linking to these products, WEX is not endorsing these products.

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