When I first joined Edukate in 2017, the term “financial wellness” was a novel concept that many of us struggled to define. Financial wellness is now widely accepted as a state of being in which you have control over your current and future financial circumstances. This includes everything from having an emergency fund to planning for a comfortable retirement.
Edukate defines financial wellness as having the confidence to make sound financial decisions no matter what life throws at you. And once you’ve established that confidence, we believe you’ll be more engaged as an employee as well as in your other voluntary benefits.
Here are the four lessons I’ve learned about financial wellness programs as I look back:
(1) Passive financial wellness programs are ineffective. Giving an employee access to a financial education library with no direction or interaction guarantees low program adoption rates. So simply providing employees with access to a free library of content is merely “checking a box” to indicate that you provide this benefit.
(2) While the solution to financial wellness is straightforward, implementing a successful financial wellness program necessitates considerable effort. To provide an engaging experience for Users, especially when it comes to a traditionally taboo subject like personal finances, you must constantly onboard new features, new content, and suggest content consumption through behavioral triggers. That is, you need a consistent communication and marketing strategy for the entire year, not just the week of open enrollment.
(3) Because of a lack of attention to detail, most financial wellness benefits fail before they begin. Open enrollment is stressful for employees because of the amount of new information they must process before making potentially life-changing decisions. If an employee is introduced to a financial wellness program only during open enrollment, the benefit is likely to be forgotten.
(4) When done correctly, you can tailor the experience to the company’s narrative and keep it interesting all year. To do so, you should not rely solely on open enrollment to implement a financial wellness program. In fact, why not use an email drip campaign to introduce your employees to their financial benefits as part of a financial wellness program rollout?
You can now use the foundation of the financial wellness program to speak to their financial benefits, such as where they can go to learn more about a topic in general terms (via the financial wellness program), while specific program questions and informational content (videos,.pdfs, etc.) can be included and worked into the educational journey.
This results in a better understanding of financial benefits, which leads to more confident decisions, which is a win-win situation for everyone. Edukate, for example, allows you to upload customized content that is only accessible to your employees.
Here’s an example of a personalized library of benefit information:
If you’d like to learn more about how Edukate develops engaging financial education campaigns to help employees make the most of their financial benefits, please contact us to set up a consultation.