The best way to help employees feel less stressed is to help them feel more financially confident. But recently, financial flexibility has taken the place of true wellness.
Financial wellness is still misunderstood and financial flexibility benefits have taken its place. They help with things like paying down student loans or offering access to earned wages. They’re all designed to help employees feel better about their current financial situation.
For many employees though, these programs don’t address their core habits. Most still aren’t ready for an unexpected financial emergency.
As a result, the help they receive isn’t getting them any closer to being prepared.
To truly address employees’ needs, companies need to think beyond financial flexibility benefits on their own. Instead, employers should focus on creating real behavioral change.
The real reason many employees stay in debt or fail to make progress in other financial goals is because of poor financial habits.
To affect change in real ways, employers should help employees address the root causes of their stress.
If employees wait to change their habits, their long-term financial wellness shifts as well. It can even affect their retirement readiness.
For many, not knowing how to budget, understand interest rates, or plan for the future is what’s holding them back.
Financial flexibility ignores the real issues. Instead, it acts like a placebo and makes employees feel like they’re getting help. In reality, they’re not.
Getting a paycheck early or getting help paying down loans only works short-term. It masks poor financial habits behind the scenes. Financial flexibility benefits should work alongside education and guidance to really make an impact instead of creating short-term wins.
When employees only address short-term financial problems, it exacerbates their future financial issues.