Piggy bank

Are Your Employees Hearing You? Three Tips to Building a Better Financial Wellness Program

April 16, 2018


Are you getting value for the benefits you provide? Expert Frank Wiginton shares insights into why your financial wellness initiatives may not be working.

Join us MAY 3rd, 12pm EST for a FREE Webinar, where financial wellness expert Frank Wiginton will share tips on Building an Effective Financial Wellness Program.

Your company does a great job providing employees with benefits and a wellness program. You and the rest of the leadership understand the purpose and value of these services to both your employees and the company. But are you getting value for the benefits you provide?

Benefits costs are rising but are they returning a value?

In 2015 the average cost of providing benefits for full-time employees was $8,330 per year, according to a survey conducted by The Conference Board of Canada, Benchmarking Benefits 2015. Today that number is over $9000 with the biggest portion going to pension and retirement benefits.

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Here’s the problem — employees aren’t using the benefits!

That same Conference Board of Canada survey revealed that 82% of employers provide retirement and financial information to their employees. Great! Here’s the problem — only 25% of employees say they received that information. What makes it worse is that only 60% of those who say they received it, say they understood it!

Financial Wellness statistics

Why don’t they hear your message?

  1. It’s not a priority for them. Everyone is very busy with work, family, and home. We make quick decisions on what we will give time to.
  2. They don’t have an immediate need for it. We live in a time where we can instantly get the information we want. This has trained us to only seek the information when we feel we need it.
  3. They are skeptical or don’t trust the information given. The source of information can create a barrier. If it is coming from management or a third-party selling a product, it may be ignored or dismissed due to a lack of trust in the source.
  4. They think they already know the information. A small number of people may feel like they have heard it before or know all about it.
  5. They just don’t understand it. Many Canadians struggle with numeracy (numbers, percentages, statistics) and document skills (ability to read charts and graphs). This difficulty influences them to not want to listen or engage with the information being given.

What can you do to help?

  1. Change the way you are communicating. Pensions and benefits need to be marketed to employees. Bring in someone from marketing to ‘sell’ the offering to your employees. Focus on the message — not on features of the benefits, but on the outcome or results of using the benefits.
  2. Use an unbiased third party to communicate. Hiring an expert, who isn’t associated with the product seller or the company, to communicate the pensions and benefits can overcome any skepticism and trust issues.
  3. Talk about what the employees want to talk about. So often, companies talk about what they want to talk about. If the time is taken to talk about what the employees want to talk about, they will be more willing and able to focus and listen to the communication from their employer.

financial wellness thought bubbles

What employees are thinking about.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Wiginton
Frank Wiginton is the CEO of Employee Financial Well-Being, an unbiased financial education company that creates and builds retirement and financial wellness programs for Canadian companies and organizations. He is the author of the best selling book How to Eat an Elephant — Achieving Financial Success One Bite at a Time. Learn more at frankwiginton.com.

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