Empowering employees through financial literacy
October 27, 2023
SEB Marketing Team
In today’s changing world, financial literacy is more than just a valuable skill; it’s a fundamental necessity. As we celebrate financial literacy month, it’s the perfect time for employers, regardless of the size of the company, to consider how they can enhance the wellbeing of their employees by providing financial literacy education.
The importance of financial literacy
Financial literacy is more than just knowing how to create a budget or save for retirement. It involves developing skills that support actions and behaviours involved in creating financial stability and growth. Possessing the knowledge and the skills of financial literacy helps employees make sound financial decisions involving investments, credit cards, savings, retirement, and how to manage debt and budgets. In the workplace, this translates into employees who are more adept at defining and working towards their financial and wellness goals.
By equipping your employees with these essential skills, you’re not only helping them achieve their financial goals but also reducing financial stress, which can have a profound impact on their productivity, retention, and loyalty.
Reducing financial stress: financial stress is a silent productivity killer in the workplace. It can lead to distracted and less engaged employees who are preoccupied with their financial worries. By providing financial education, you can empower your workforce to make informed financial decisions, manage debt, and save for the future, thus reducing their stress levels.
Increasing employee loyalty and retention: employees who feel supported by their employers in personal matters, such as financial literacy, are more likely to stay with the company for the long term. They appreciate the investment in their wellbeing and are more loyal to the organization, leading to a lower turnover rate.
Boosting productivity: when employees are in control of their finances and have a clear path to achieve their financial goals, they are less focused on their financial worries and can focus on their job. Improved productivity is a natural biproduct of reduced financial stress, benefiting both employees and companies.
How to implement financial literacy education
The delivery method for the content can be just as valuable as the content itself. Most workforces are comprised of multiple generations who access communication differently. Its important for employers to offer a variety of ways to access the information with a mix of online and in person such as email, webinars, videos, lunch and learns, and infographics.
Begin with a survey of employees to discover the gaps in knowledge and the current concerns. Identify skills needed: financial concepts, managing debt, using a budget, retirement savings etc.
Then offer targeted guidance and strategies to support employees in different stages of life. For example, while some employees would benefit from learning ways to pay down debts such as mortgages and school loans, others might benefits from learning to maximize college savings for their children or preparing for their own retirement. For example:
- Offer training, workshops and seminars: host workshops, webinars, or seminars led by financial experts to cover various aspects of personal finance. Topics can range from budgeting and debt management to investing and retirement planning. Embedding financial training into a series of ongoing trainings helps normalize financial literacy.
- Online resources: provide access to online financial literacy resources, including articles, videos, and interactive tools. These resources allow employees to learn at their own pace and as per their specific needs.
- One-on-one counseling: consider offering one-on-one financial counseling sessions where employees can discuss their unique financial situations and receive personalized guidance.
- Employee benefits package: integrate financial education as part of your benefits package. Offer incentives like matching contributions to retirement accounts, which encourage employees to take an active interest in their financial well-being. Companies should have the proper communication for employees to understand the value of these benefits.
- Encourage open dialogue: create a culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their financial concerns and seeking advice. Encouraging open dialogue can break down the stigma around financial issues and promote a healthier financial environment.
Financial literacy education is an invaluable asset for your employees and your company. By reducing financial stress, increasing loyalty and retention, and boosting productivity, you create a more motivated and satisfied workforce. As you reflect on financial literacy month, consider how you can take the initiative to invest in your employees’ wellbeing by providing the tools they need to make informed financial decisions. It’s a win-win situation for all.
SEB has partnered with Enriched Academy to offer a full financial literacy program to all its employees. The program comprises a fully comprehensive suite of personal finance learning resources, including self-directed online training courses and tools, live-streamed training sessions, and one-on-one coaching with an accredited financial professional. We believe financial wellness empowers employees to be more productive, take charge to manage financial stress and improve their overall well-being.