Implementing an effective employee benefits program in 2022 is a complex task. Gone are the days of workers expecting a simple paycheck. To keep the best staff, and to get the most out of them, employers need to be offering more. One of the most common concerns employees in Australia have is financial stress, with almost a third of us experiencing it. Therefore, financial wellness programs are surging in popularity and attractiveness for potential candidates and existing employees. Let’s take a deeper look into employee financial wellness programs and how they may benefit your business and workforce.

What are financial wellness programs?

Financial wellness refers to people being in a position where they face minimal money-related stresses in their day-to-day life. This could be as simple as being able to meet all expenses while saving some leftover or not carrying any debt that weighs on their mind. Financial wellness is different from person to person, but it always comes down to how well a person is able to manage their income against their expenses.

Financial wellness programs, therefore, are techniques, tools and resources provided to employees by their employers to help them budget better, spend better and get themselves in a financially responsible position to meet their goals. This may include tracking tools, educational resources, budgeting apps and financial planning advice. The goal is to reduce the likelihood of the workforce suffering from financial stress that both impacts their overall wellbeing and productivity at work.

How these programs are mutually beneficial

Financial wellness programs are beneficial for both employees and their employers. Why? Because financially well workers are able to give their best effort at work, maximising their productivity, reliability and progression within the company. Stressed-out employees are more likely to suffer from a lack of sleep, experience fatigue, headaches and other mental issues that impact their daily lives.

This study found that employees with financial worries are 7.6 times more likely not to finish their daily tasks and 5.7 times more likely to have troubled relationships with their colleagues. The ultimate cost of these factors experienced by almost 2 million people is estimated to cost the Australian economy over $31 billion in lost productivity

Employers who want attentive, well-rounded staff with a positive and productive attitude in the workplace realise that stress minimisation plays an essential role in achieving this. With financial stress, such a pervasive problem, financial wellness programs that effectively deal with the issue are a significant contributor to a healthier, more effective workforce.

What are some effective financial wellness programs?

The right financial wellness programs for your organisation and workforce will largely depend upon your industry and employee demographics. Young, hourly workers will have different financial stressors than experienced, office-based managers. It’s a great idea to ask around and see what’s working for other companies in your industry. If you’re aiming to be the best, there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from the best. Research well-received financial education programs, particularly noting reviews and actual proof of their previous results.

Another specific option to consider is Earned Wage Access (EWA), such as that offered by Paytime. It’s essentially a way for your staff to take control of when they get paid. It’s been proven to be beneficial for reducing financial stress but giving employers greater flexibility in how they manage and access their earned wages and personal cash flow. It makes budgeting easier and empowers better financial decision making. When an unexpected bill arrives, they can easily access a portion of their earned wages to cover any shortfall instead of turning to debt. It’s also an attractive prospect for job seekers who are almost two times as likely to accept a 13% lower salary when EWA is an option.

For more information about how Paytime can help add to your organisation’s financial wellness program, contact Paytime today.