Financial Wellness
June 15, 2020

4 Elements of a Truly Useful Financial Wellness Benefit

When most employers think about financial wellness for their employees, they emphasize benefits that require a lot of planning and anticipation, like 401(k)s, and occasionally health savings accounts.

But in many instances, employees are living paycheck to paycheck. They’re barely breaking even with each pay cycle, and don’t have the funds to address basic expenses and emergencies—let alone set aside savings for longer-term financial wellness. Add in some of the fees that people can incur with traditional financial services (like late fees, overdraft fees, and minimum balance requirement fees), and you see a major financial wellness gap for hourly workers.

The truth is, before people can take advantage of mid- to longer-term benefits, they have to feel secure addressing their short-term needs. That's where you come in. Your business can be a natural gateway to financial wellness for your employees. And you can do it in a way that doesn't have to harm your company's financial viability.

Your business can be a source of financial wellness for your employees.

When you’re thinking of implementing a financial wellness benefit at your company, there are four things to consider that can help you match the solutions you offer to the real needs of your employees. Here are four elements of a truly useful financial wellness benefit for your employees:

1. Ease of Use

Are financial management or paycheck tools easy for your employees to use and access? Because most people today operate their lives from their phones, it's crucial to offer mobile-first tools with intuitive interfaces. An easy experience greatly increases the chances of more employees adopting a benefit.

2. Speed

The timing of a paycheck or transaction can make or break a bank account. Allowing employees to have real-time visibility and access to their finances can help them plan ahead better. Plus, you want something that won’t add extra steps to your payroll process. 

3. Flexibility

There are over 11,000 banks and credit unions, so it’s important to find an option that will either allow employees to seamlessly connect with their existing account, or provide a banking option that’s easy to sign up for. Banking options should be flexible enough to bend to the needs of the employee.

4. Cost

True financial wellness should eliminate costs for employees and help them get ahead. Many financial wellness benefits claim to be free, but actually include associated subscription or transaction fees that are either passed on to the employer or employee. Find a solution that’s both free for your staff to use and free for you to implement.

Interestingly, some of these very same factors are what can make a financial benefit right for your company, too. When you consider choosing a financial wellness for your company, employers are also looking for… 

  • Ease of Implementation: Just like your employees, you don’t want to implement a cumbersome benefit that’s going to take a lot of work or time. Instead, you need a solution that’s fairly turnkey, with an easy-to-understand user experience.
  • Cost: It shouldn’t be costly for employers to offer needed financial tools to their employees; look for one that's free to implement.
  • Flexibility: Ideally, the solution is flexible enough to integrate with your current workforce or HCM system easily.

There are offerings that can benefit both your employees and your bottom line, too. Request a demo to learn more about how Branch can help your business offer a meaningful financial wellness benefit to employees.

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