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Dollars and Sense - The Benefits of Providing Your Staff with Financial Education

dollar.pngMany employees only ever receive role-specific training and support in the workplace. They are taught how to be better at their job, but this rarely branches out to cover other lifestyle factors that might be affecting their performance at work.

Employee's financial knowledge is one of these areas, as staff who are worried about money aren't likely to be optimally focused on their daily tasks. As organizations begin to take a more holistic approach to employee benefits, many are looking at providing financial education as a component of broader wellness initiatives.

Companies that can implement lifestyle benefits such as financial education are more likely to have engaged, committed staff that are comfortable with the different challenges they encounter at work. Aon Hewitt's Best Employers are proof of how Australian and New Zealand companies are better engaging their workers by investing in them and their skills both inside and outside of the workplace.

Why Offer Staff Financial Education?

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The link between financial education and organizational performance may seem remote, but there are a number of key advantages that come from providing this benefit to staff.

After all, finance is one of the biggest areas that can cause stress in an employee's life and in many cases, negatively influence their day-to-day work.

In fact, a 2013 Harris Poll conducted for Purchasing Power, found that 44% of American workers are worrying about money at work, while 46% are spending two to three hours during the work week managing their finances.

Staff who have the knowledge to manage their finances outside of work effectively are likely to have much lower rates of stress and will thus be more likely to perform at their best when they do come into the office.

What are the Business Benefits of a Financially-fit Workforce?

While helping employees to manage their finances is an easy way to reduce stress and help employees achieve better outcomes in their personal lives, there are certainly other reasons why number-savvy staff can help build a better business. Here are a couple of the biggest advantages:

  • Building a better compensation package: With employee wage growth less certain now than it has been in the past, it's important for employers to think about the full range of benefits and opportunities they can offer to staff. Financial education can act as a complement to the salary, helping staff to manage their existing wage better and thus develop a better perception of their overall pay package
  • Stronger employee retention: Workers aren't just looking for a job that pays the bills, so companies need to create a benefits package that can keep their staff engaged and interested in their work. Up-skilling opportunities like financial education demonstrate care and – particularly when coupled with other well-being initiatives – can play a key role in attracting and retaining quality talent

Building a comprehensive financial education program within your business has clear benefits, both for employees and the company, as a whole. As businesses look to boost employee well-being both in the office and in their spare time, financial education is a great way to build this focus, so that both you and your employees can reap the benefits.

Data Source:

1. Purchasing Power 2013 Financial Wellness: The Addressing the “9 to 5"

Doug Webber
Principal, Head – Financial Advisory Services, Aon Hewitt
Finance is one of the biggest areas that can cause stress in an employee's life
Doug Webber, Principal, Head – Financial Advisory Services, Aon Hewitt
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