Stay inside. Wash your hands. Try not to panic about the state of the economy and its impacts on your money.
Keeping remote teams engaged, productive and financially well during this pandemic can feel like a tall order for employers. Even if a steady paycheck is still coming in, employee financial stress sharply increases during times of uncertainty.
Workers have questions around setting up and using emergency savings, staying on track for retirement in this volatile market and understanding what’s going on with student loan interest, the stimulus package, and tax day. And, they’re (remotely) turning to their employer for answers.
Some workplaces are launching in-house strategies, while many are turning to trusted financial wellness programs that employ personal finance experts for gold-star guidance. Either way, digital-first financial wellness benefits are on the rise.
Here are 5 strategies that innovative HR teams are using to optimize their digital financial wellness strategy for the new world of remote workforces.
Harness digital education
Online learning is the name of the game when it comes to financially educating a remote population.
Employees can go at their own pace, which allows them to absorb knowledge at the time and cadence that works best for them. Think of a learner that retains info best in the morning, or the employee whose mind is most sharp at night.
And, employers can strategically reinforce topics that are customized to specific organizational goals - for example, HSA contributions, retirement readiness, or employee benefits education ahead of open enrollment.
Look for programs that are well-designed with user experience in mind. Fun fact - user experience is often abbreviated to UX, which is part of the inspiration for the name LearnLux.
Offer remote coaching
During especially stressful times, many employees want to talk to an expert about their specific situation. That’s where financial coaches come in. When in-person meetings are out of the question, offer your team the opportunity to chat online, ask questions in an email, or set up a phone or video call with a financial professional.
Choose a program that offers Financial Advisors that are Certified Financial PlannerⓇs (aka CFPⓇs) to ensure the guidance they provide is credible, unbiased & always in the employee’s best interest.
Bring lunch & learns online
Many employees want expert guidance but aren’t sure what to ask. To engage this group, take the traditional financial wellness lunch & learn online. Virtual sessions with trusted Financial Advisors can cover a range of timely and relevant topics, leaving attendees feeling more confident about their money.
For team members that do have questions, they may feel comfortable “raising their hand” anonymously on a webinar versus asking in-person. And, interactive polls can give employers insights into the challenges their employee population is facing most.
Provide guidance 24/7
It's easy to assume that remote work gives employees more free time, when in fact their schedules may be busier than ever. By providing financial wellness that’s available 24/7 via online tools and education, guidance can be accessed around the clock.
Beyond the need for ultra-accessible resources during this pandemic, peak sessions of financial stress like tax season, open enrollment and the holidays add extra pressure. Knowing that financial resources are available on their terms will help ease their worries.
In times of financial uncertainty, one size fits all wellness strategies won’t cut it. Innovative employers are bringing on digital-first solutions that provide dynamic financial assessments, personal goal setting and responsive content.
Behavioral finance data points, such as levels of stress and confidence, can be used to customize guidance and recommendations to individual program participants. Interactive tools allow employees to model out cash flow scenarios and get custom recommendations. For example, an employee may want to visualize changes to their budget that allow them to build an emergency fund and contribute more to their HSA account. With a focus on personalization, workplace financial wellness strategies will see record engagement and ROI.
As we settle into this "new normal" of remote work and digital-first employee experience, workplaces and benefits providers alike are forging a new frontier.
Need a hand with your financial wellness strategy? Our team at LearnLux is here to help. Send us a note using the form below and we’ll be in touch shortly.
For up-to-date information on coronavirus and it's financial impacts, visit our How to Financially Navigate COVID-19 resource page. If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC or up-to-date information and resources. Practice social distancing, wash your hands and reach out to our team using the form below if we can support you & your employees in any way during this challenging time.