Strategy

6 Questions to Answer Before Adopting a Financial Wellness Program

Financial wellness continues to be top of mind for employers in 2017. Today, there are a multitude of financial wellness solutions to choose from for your employees. Because there are so many options, it’s important to identify which program provides the greatest value for you and your employees. If you’re looking to adopt a financial wellness solution, here are six important questions to ask throughout the process:

 

1. How Should the Financial Wellness Program Be Delivered?

Consider and choose what format(s) the financial wellness resources will be made available. Online software, mobile applications, group meetings, print materials, and phone consultations are all examples of how the solution can be delivered. Depending on your employee demographics, certain formats may work better.

2. What Are the Technical Features of This Product?

Identify what about this solution, compared to other ones, directly benefits your employee’s financial wellness. For instance, is there automatic aggregation of multiple accounts? Mobile and/or web access? Additional features such as push notifications, potential integration with record keepers, incentive providers and health benefits platforms are all components to look for.

3. Does the Financial Wellness Solution Modify Behavior or Provide Education? Or Both?

For employees to work toward financial wellness, the solution itself should help employees get there by either helping to change their financial behavior or by providing education. General education, application of behavioral science principles, personalized messaging based on behavior, and tracking engagement success are examples of features to consider.

4. How Will I Know If the Financial Wellness Solution Is Effective?

To determine if a recently implemented financial wellness solution is making a positive impact on your employees, decide what type of data, such as percentage of income saved, you want to use to measure change over time.  Then find out whether the solution offers reporting on the data you’re looking for or any other relevant measurements.

5. Does the Solution Present a Conflict of Interest?

Many financial wellness solutions provide personalized guidance and quite possibly investment advice. Be sure that the guidance is solely for improving your employees’ financial wellness and not as an avenue for cross-selling something else. Essentially, is this solution looking to gain your employees’ business as well?

6. How Will This Solution Paid For?

Bottom line: Whose pocket will the money come from? The employer, the employee, a combination of both? Some employers may be able to use funds from their retirement plan, but be careful of the legal implications. It’s important to know how the program will be paid for before taking it on.

 

Finding the right financial wellness solution for your employees takes time, but answering these questions before and during the search may help make the process of finding the right solution easier to navigate. If you’re looking for more in-depth information, download: “An Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellness.”

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