How a Financial Wellness Program Helps Your Employees — and Your Business

Financial stress isn’t just bad for your employees — it can negatively impact your business directly. Offering a holistic financial wellness benefit is an increasingly common way to provide your employees a benefit that will help to make them better, happier members of your team.


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Our partner at Betterment shares tips on building a meaningful financial wellness program

Attracting and retaining talented employees is essential to keeping your business humming, but how can you make sure that your employees are bringing their best selves to their jobs? You might be surprised that fair compensation alone isn’t sufficient: according to a Willis Towers Watson study, 18% of employees making more than $100,000 are living paycheck to paycheck, and 39% of employees wouldn’t be able to come up with $3,000 if an unexpected need arose within the next month.

That financial stress is negatively impacting their performance at work, too: according to the same study, 39% of struggling employees said money concerns keep them from doing their best at work, and 49% reported suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression over the last two years. And this pain is especially acute for your younger employees: a 2020 study by Betterment found that 77% of millennials and Gen Z employees say that thinking about their finances causes them stress.

There is a solution that can help you and your employees alike: expanding your benefit program to include a focus on financial wellness. While traditionally employers may have thought that a benefits package of a retirement offering and healthcare plan were enough, an increasing number of employers offer more financial education and support — as many as 53% of employers, according to one study. And the good news is that a financial wellness program doesn’t have to be challenging or expensive to start!

39% of struggling employees said money concerns keep them from doing their best at work, and 49% reported suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression over the last two years.

Here’s what Betterment believes a thoughtful financial wellness program needs to include:

  • A robust retirement offering that grows with you: Setting your employees up for success means starting with their longest-term goal. Make sure your retirement offering is low-cost and provides personalized advice. The lower the fees your employees pay, the higher their retirement savings balance can be when it’s time to start withdrawing.
  • An emergency savings plan: Giving your employees access to accounts that help build savings is a great way to help them understand the value of having funds available to cover any unexpected needs.
  • Visibility into all your financial goals in one place: It’s essential your employees know how to balance their near-term and long-term savings. One place where they can see their emergency savings, house savings, and retirement savings will help them feel in control over all their goals.
  • Educational materials and webinars: The more education you can provide your employees, the higher their financial comfort level will be. Working with a trusted partner who can arm you with engaging and digestible content is a must.
  • Access to advice: It’s natural that your employees will want to speak with someone about the specifics of their personal financial situations. Offering access to a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or Registered Investment Advisor is a great way to make sure each employee’s unique situation can be addressed in a personalized way.

If you’re looking for more detail about how to start to implement these steps, Betterment has put together an in-depth guide to implementing a financial wellness program. With a few changes, you can help ensure that your employees are better set up to navigate any financial uncertainties. And you can feel confident that you’ve helped to deal with those distracting stressors they may be juggling outside of work!


Zenefits is a Solicitor of Betterment for Business, LLC and Betterment LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor (together, “Betterment”) (“Solicitor”) and will receive compensation from Betterment upon referrals to Betterment that result in the establishment of a 401(k) plan on the Betterment for Business platform. Betterment and Solicitor are not under common ownership or otherwise related entities.

Any links provided to other websites are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment or its authors endorse, sponsor, promote, and/or are affiliated with the owners of or participants in those sites, or endorses any information contained on those sites, unless expressly stated otherwise.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.


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