••• SPONSORED SECTION •••
During the past year, companies have communicated extensively with their employees about wellness – particularly in the context of health. Not to be overlooked, however, is financial wellness, which extends beyond the framework of financial literacy and empowers employees to build strong financial habits – while also contributing to a more confident, productive workforce.
Financial wellness is the No. 1 employer benefit that employees would most like to see added to their benefits in the future.1 And as companies and employees continue on the road toward economic recovery, financial wellness will remain an important consideration.
HOW EMPLOYEES’ FINANCIAL STRESSORS IMPACT EMPLOYERS
When PNC Organizational Financial Wellness Market Managers Adam Butler and Stephanie Hughes sit down with N.C. businesses to discuss financial wellness programs, it’s not uncommon for them to share the following pre-pandemic data points2, which help bring context to the impact employees’ financial stressors pose to employers:
Financially stressed employees cost American businesses $500 billion annually in productivity.
49% of employees admit to spending three or more hours per week thinking about financial stressors at work.
47% of employees say that finances are a distraction.
26% of employees admit their productivity has been impacted by financial stressors.
10% of employees miss work occasionally due to financial stressors.
Furthermore, the cost of financial stress on an organization, in lost productivity and absenteeism, translates to more than $1,900 per employee, per year.3 “When you consider this impact, it’s clear to see that the cost of implementing a financial wellness program pales in comparison,” said Butler.
IMPLEMENTING A FINANCIAL WELLNESS PROGRAM
Financial wellness programs that are mutually beneficial to both employers and employees should take into account the unique needs at all levels of the organization. And while there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, Butler and Hughes say the following four elements are foundational to a solid financial wellness program.
1. Workplace banking: A strong bank-at-work program should offer a variety of account options for employees. It also should offer onsite and virtual financial services, as well as workshops and informational events that address topics such as direct deposit sign-ups, applying for mortgages, understanding various credit card programs and how they meet employees’ needs, and how to use digital money management tools. It’s important to note that this program should come at no cost or burden to the employee.
2. Consumer-directed healthcare: A Health Savings Account, or HSA, has become a common way to pay for healthcare; however, there are benefits of an HSA that are often over-looked. Therefore, it is vitally important for employees to know how to use the tools they have available to them.
3. Digital financial assessment and resource center: To help motivate employee participation and improve their financial acumen, a successful financial wellness program should offer a customizable, digital tool. This tool should allow employees to assess their financial wellness, access a complete financial education curriculum, and earn points for tracking progress toward their goals. It also should allow the company administrator to gather insights on employee engagement and data trends, and provide reporting insights to assist with employee priorities and education.
4. Retirement plan and fiduciary investment services: Financial independence includes the ability for employees to retire on their own terms – without worrying if they can afford to do so. Successful retirement plan programs focus on everything from investment selection to policy assistance. These programs also offer a dedicated resource for annual education campaigns, which often include surveys, online tools, live and virtual meetings, webinars and more.
THE PNC ORGANIZATIONAL FINANCIAL WELLNESS APPROACH
In October 2020, PNC launched the formation of a new financial wellness business called PNC Organizational Financial Wellness. While PNC has offered a number of financial wellness solutions across its lines of business for years, it has now established a cohesive team and strategy to better deliver comprehensive solutions and value-added guidance.
Through this offering, PNC is providing comprehensive financial wellness guidance and workplace solutions to clients through Financial Wellness Consultants, who serve as key business partners to the human resources suite. “Financial Wellness Consultants collaborate closely with organizations’ human resources decision-makers or dedicated benefits managers to design custom programs, taking into account the unique needs and goals of organizations and their employees,” said Hughes.
For more information, please contact your PNC Relationship Manager or visit www.pnc.com/wellness.