Plain and simple, a healthy workplace environment is one that has strong employee financial wellness programs in place. From an overall wellness perspective, the correlation between employee's physical, emotional and financial well-being in today's workplace is undeniable.
EAP programs themselves are by default in place to promote and encourage healthy employee habits. As a result, programs that are void of any one of the three pillars mentioned above would, by today's standards be considered inadequate and likely ineffective over the long term.
One of the main reasons why financial wellness is so integral to a healthy workplace is because of one somewhat counterintuitive fact. Improving financial literacy does not always translate into an immediate effect on the real life state of an employees financial wellness. More often than not, education takes some time to turn into action. Employers need to therefore make sure there is constant and ongoing EAP support to bridge this lag between financial wellness and literacy for employees.
The statistics of past and present studies on employee financial wellness also paint a pretty clear picture that this is a common issue across all salary bands. Common findings repeatedly point out that nearly 20 per cent of employees in households making over $100K annually say they don’t feel in control of their financial situation. This is likely a result of a lack of financial action on the part of the employee. For those at the higher bands, the money is there to facilitate a healthy state of financial wellness, but for some reason the appropriate actions are being missed or ignored.
This is where EAP programs needs to step in and make a difference. Lack of financial wellness can quickly become major stressors for any employee. Regardless of the income levels, financial stress is manifested which in turn will affect an employees actual physical health. A better financial state leads to better sleep, better exercise and better nutrition. All resulting in an ability to work better, being more efficient, more productive and more present while at work.
Moving away from standardization to personalization with EAP programs also greatly increases their success rates. When it comes to financial issues there’s obviously no one-size-fits all approach for employers to implement that's going to work well for every employee. Financial needs will always be different form employee to employee.
The key is to make sure there is a diverse set of EAP financial options available so that each employee can apply segments of the program to their own individual set of financial needs. With this process in place they can continue to improve their literacy over time and eventually their financial wellness will soon follow.