Financial education is important to your employees. Since 2008, economic uncertainty has increased employees’ interest in financial planning and education. As a result, employee benefits consulting firms have seen an increase in the demand for financial education services.
But these services come at a price, and that is a concern for many business owners and HR executives. The cost of having a financial education program for your employees depends on how you deliver it and who does the delivery.
Setting Up a Financial Education Program
One of the best ways to begin a financial education program is to survey your employees to see how they would prefer to engage and what types of services you should seek.
Some options could include:
- Online information, calculators and training. Having resources online gives your employees the option of on-demand information.
- Peer-to-peer and group seminars. One-on-one coaching and consulting gives employees a personalized approach. This can be done with in-house experts or outside third parties.
- On-site. Offering onsite financial education seminars encourage positive financial behaviors. Engaged, motivated and trained employees are committed to achieving both personal and organizational goals.
- Off-site. Webinars are a powerful tool that can increase employee engagement for employees. Webinars are especially useful for communication with a large, dispersed employee base. Financial education webinars enable viewers to attend presentations on their computers and ask financial questions discretely.
Implementing Your Program
Just as there are many different ways to develop and deliver your program, there are many who can do it. What are the benefits or drawbacks of each option? How should you prepare?
- Internal Staff: Think about the cost of your staff time and whether they have the necessary training to do this. Will materials need to be purchased? What liability do you assume by having internal staff execute the program?
- Outside trainers. Consider whether your employees will be able to relate and trust outside trainers. Is this a one-time workshop, or will you also be setting up 1-1 personal and confidential counseling? Will outside trainers provide their own materials and will those be available for employees later? Does it cost anything to have them do it, or are they going to expect to be able to sell something at a certain quota?
- Retirement planners. Realize that many are trying to sell something and so they may be biased towards certain strategies. Also, consider the various stages of retirement planning that affect your employees.
Regardless of how you deliver your financial education program, or who delivers it, the cost of not having one far outweighs the cost to implement one. These costs are both tangible and intangible. The Personal Finance Foundation has a great ROI calculator to help you figure out how much employee financial stress is costing you.
As a credit union, we are a non-profit organization with the financial expertise to be able to give your employees a framework to take control of their finances. As an employer who offers financial education services, your employees are going to be more productive and loyal to you. Together we can build a strong community of growing businesses and happy employees.
Download the Moneywise Employee Guide to learn more about how to set up a financial education program for your employees.