Guide: Employee Financial Well-Being - 10 Steps to Successfully Implementing an Employee Financial Well-Being Program Part 3

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Part 3 in a 3 part series on defining financial literacy in the workplace. Part 3 walks you step by step through the process to successfully implementing an employee financial education program at …

Part 3 in a 3 part series on defining financial literacy in the workplace. Part 3 walks you step by step through the process to successfully implementing an employee financial education program at your workplace.

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  • 1. Employee Financial Well-Being to successfully implementing an employee financial well-being program Part 3 GUIDE STEPS 10
  • 2. More people are stressed out about their personal finances than ever before. That makes it difficult for many employees to concentrate on work. Studies show that 30% of employees handle personal financial matters on work time, while 22% spend much of their time at the office worrying about their finances.1 Other reports have found that financial stress causes staff members to be less productive, less engaged and less healthy. That leads to more time away from the office and fewer days and weeks helping the company grow. Offering comprehensive financial education at work will go a long way to reducing that personal financial stress. But why should you worry about an employee’s financial well-being? The answer is simple: what affects your staff also affects your business. By providing financial education at the office and helping to get your employees’ financial house in order, can actually boost productivity, reduce health care related costs and even increase your bottom line. While implementing a financial literacy program may seem like a daunting task, there are independent financial professionals who have experience creating and running work-related financial education training. It’s important to find a third-party educator — one who’s experienced and accredited — to oversee these programs. Surveys show that an unbiased educator is most trusted by employees to deliver this type of education. Don’t wait to educate your staff on how to handle their finances: the sooner you can reduce that stress, the sooner you’ll have a more productive company. How to use this guide This guide will tell you what it will take to create and deliver a financial education program in the workplace. It will: • offer ways to get senior management on board • reveal how to find an independent third-party provider • discuss how to determine what employees want from a program • provide ideas on how best to deliver that education • explain how to budget for a financial literacy program • explain how to see whether it’s been successful and • how to tell employees about this training. At the end of this guide, you should know what it takes to implement a comprehensive financial education program in your workplace. Introduction 1 Jinhee Kee and E. Thomas Garman, Financial Stress, Pay Satisfaction and Workplace Performance, January/February 2004. © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 2 What affects your employees also affects your business. 61% say personal finances are their #1 stressor
  • 3. One of the biggest barriers to launching a financial literacy program in the workplace is having senior executives on board. This is a critical first step that will empower staff to participate and will show them that it is a priority for the company. Fortunately, getting that buy-in isn’t as difficult as it may seem. The key is showing top management the benefits of a program as it relates to their top concerns. As explained in two white papers published by Employee Financial Well-Being, Financial Literacy for Employees – Understanding what makes an effective financial well-being program and Workplace Financial Education – The benefits and rewards of a financially literate workforce, reducing personal financial stress has several work- related benefits: • Increase in productivity • More engaged workforce • Better mental well-being • Possible reduction in drug plan-related costs In other words, when employees are more productive and less worried about their financial health, they make more money for their company. During the Financial Education in the Workplace Roundtable 2012, which was hosted by Employee Financial Education Division, Lana Thompson, Director of Industry Engagement at the Financial Planning Standards Council said: “When talking about influencing senior executives to do a program like this, make sure to come forward with the benefits. It’s not about saying, ‘here, run this program and here are the costs.’ You want to explain the benefits to the entire organization.” Don Stewart, the former CEO of Sun Life Financial, suggested making the pitch personal. “Link this back to their own family. Lots of senior people have kids who have all the wrong habits around money. That’s been a door opener for me. Explain to them how financial literacy can help their own life and then they’ll see how it will be able to help their employees.” Every executive should want a financially healthy and engaged workforce and they all want to increase company revenues. Explain clearly how financial literacy in the workforce can achieve both of these goals and senior staff should give the green light. Get Buy-In from Senior Executives 2 Employee Financial Education Division. Financial Education for Employees Survey, November 2012. © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 3 20% of companies that don’t offer financial education in the workplace said it was because they don’t have senior level support.2 STEP 1
  • 4. Surveys show that most employees want their advice from a third-party educator. It’s not good enough to just find any independent advisor, though. In a survey of 608 Canadian employees, 88% said it was “very important” that the educator not sell a product. 86% said it was “very important” that the educator be experienced and 80% said it was “very important” that the educator be accredited, typically with a certified financial planner (CFP) designation.3 If you take all three of these requirements — accredited, experienced and not selling a product — then “that eliminates something like 99% of the financial information providers out there,” said Frank Wiginton, CEO of Employee Financial Well-Being. Marie Donnelly, Vice-President Consulting, Communication Practice at Aon Hewitt, said during the roundtable that while the person shouldn’t push a particular product, he or she does need to know about the types of products on the market. “They shouldn’t be trying to push something, but they do need to have the knowledge and the ability to talk about what different funds offer,” It’s also important to find someone who has worked with companies to develop financial education programs. The third-party educator needs to know how to assess employee needs — to make sure they’re getting education that they can actually use — and knows what types of resources your business will have to provide. Hiring a third-party professional also helps companies avoid liability. According to legal experts, a company can be held responsible if they provide incorrect facts or advice to their employees. Hiring a third-party educator not only gives your employees access to an expert, it also may absolve the company of any liability. Find a Third-Party Provider 3 Employee Financial Education Division. Financial Education in the Workplace, 2012. © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 4 Financial education needs to be provided by an independent, unbiased, experienced and accredited third-party educator. 88% 86% 80% Accredited Experienced Unbiased STEP 2
  • 5. Effective employee financial well-being programs must be comprehensive. They can’t simply focus on pension and benefits, as many do now. According to leading Canadian financial experts4 , topics should include: • Setting and achieving goals • Building a net worth statement • Building a cash flow statement • Income and debt management • Determining life insurance needs • Retirement planning • Investment management • Tax Planning • Creating a Will, Power of Attorney and Personal Care Directive While all topics should be discussed, what should be emphasized depends on the needs of your employees. The third-party educator should develop and administer a survey to gauge your staff’s most pressing issues. He or she will also try to determine the root causes of these issues in order to better address them. For example, if staff are worried about debt management, the educator will find out why. “What’s really the issue?” asks Frank Wiginton, who conducted many of these types of surveys. “Do they have trouble paying bills on time? Or do they not know how to manage cash flow? We’re trying to understand the various interdependencies that address the actual issues.” Proper financial education must be comprehensive, and must speak to the issues that are causing the most stress among employees. The third-party provider will be able to get a sense of what’s most pressing and then develop a program around those needs. Identify What Education Employees Want and Need 4 Employee Financial Education Division. Financial Education in the Workplace Roundtable. October 2012. © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 5 Third-party educators should survey employees to learn about their most pressing issue and determine the root causes of these concerns to address them. STEP 3
  • 6. Once the survey results are compiled, the educator, along with the company, will decide what type of education needs to be offered. The survey will give everyone a good idea as to what type of financial training staff need and want. While the education must be comprehensive, it can also focus on issues that are most important to staff — that could be saving for a child’s education, paying off credit card debt, dealing with mortgage payments and more. The third-party educator and company executives should also start thinking about how they want to deliver education. The survey should reveal how employees want to consume information and when they want that education delivered. In some cases, developing a one-size-fits-all program may not be best. Initially, it may be better to start with the most pressing concerns of the group in order to engage them and get strong participation. As Gary Rabbior, President of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education explained, “In order to drive engagement and participation, you may be best to start by creating an inductive situation that gets the employees’ attention. Once they are engaged, you can then go back to the basics and help them understand the context.” Build the Program © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being “Create an inductive situation that gets the employees attention. Once they are engaged, you can then go back to the basics.” — Gary Rabbior, President, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education 6 STEP 4
  • 7. There are many different ways to deliver financial education to employees: • Group seminars • One-on-one coaching • Webinar • Social media • Self-study workbooks • Self-study videos • Blogs and newsletters Which method to use will depend on what your employees want, what approach suits your workforce, and what your budget dictates. Studies show that 80% of employees took action after participating in a one-on-one financial discussion.5 Employees who attend financial education seminars had participation rates in work-related retirement savings plans 11.5% higher than those who were offered no seminars.6 Webinars work well too; 70% consider them to be an effective engagement and education tool.7 As you can understand, there’s no one best way to provide education. What to choose will depend on your staff’s needs and the dynamics of your workforce. For instance, if most of your employees are travelling, or if they work offsite, a webinar may be the most effective communication tool to reach everyone. If most of your employees work in one office, then a group seminar or one-on-one training could be most effective. If you have a social media-savvy workforce, then additional education via their social networks could be useful to reinforce the education and increase retention and actions. The third-party educators, along with the company, will work together to determine what education method is most appropriate. In some cases, multiple methods will need to be used. That may involve an additional cost, but it’s important to understand that not one-size fits all. Identify the Best Delivery Method 5 Principal Financial Group. Face-to-Face Education Drives Better Retirement Savings Behaviour, July 2012. 6 Bayer, Patrick, Bernheim, Douglas, Scholz, John. The Effects of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Employers, September 1996. 7 PSI. Webinars: Effective Information Communication, June 2010. © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being Which delivery method to use will depend on what your employees want, what approach suits your workforce and what your budget dictates. 7 STEP 5
  • 8. One of the key steps in delivering education in the workplace is determining who will attend, where the training will be delivered and when the sessions will take place. Typically, employees need a “champion” to help get them excited about the training. That could be a senior executive, but it could also be an influential employee. During the Financial Education in the Workplace Roundtable, Frank Wiginton offered this anecdote: “We were trying to educate a group of employees, and few were showing up to the sessions. We took the two most influential people, sat down with them and I said, ‘this is what I want to talk about in the session.’ I made it exciting and then asked them to find five people they thought would enjoy and benefit from it. Those people told other people and the next thing you knew every session was full.” Making sure you find the right space and time to hold the session is also important. If it’s not convenient to get to, or if the time conflicts with something else, people won’t show up. The third-party provider will help identify, through the needs assessment survey, how employees want to receive financial education. If it’s determined that a group seminar is the best option, he or she will find out if they prefer to attend something at the office, offsite, during work hours or at another time. It’s then up to the employer to decide if they can meet their employees’ needs. When employees were asked when they would most likely participate in a financial education program, overwhelmingly they choose during work hours, followed by during lunch break. The least popular time was on the weekends.3 Companies must also figure out if they have the right tools to offer education. For instance, if a business wants to put on a webinar for its employees, it needs to have a fast internet connection and terminals for the employees. You will also need to determine how much time each session should be. The third-party educator should be able to help the company decide how best to offer the education. Identify Company Resources for Training © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 8 Companies must also figure out if they have the right tools to offer education, from space for seminars or internet connection and terminals for webinars. during work hours during lunch breakat home on my own time on the weekend right after work STEP 6
  • 9. Develop a Budget and Get It Approved © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 9 More than 40% of businesses cite cost as a barrier to implementation. It is critical you sell the people signing off on the importance of the program when presenting the budget. Now that you know what type of education must be offered and how to best deliver it, it’s time to develop a budget and get it approved. The budget should include the costs of running a program, which would include the fee of the third-party provider, technology costs, room rental expenditures (if required) and more. However, it should also account for time costs. Frank Wiginton says, “Part of the budget has to include the time that employees will be away from their work if it is done during work hours. Other employees’ time that is spent in organizing and communicating the program and assisting in answering questions about the program and convincing employees to participate is also a real cost.” The third-party provider can help determine costs. Once the budget is determined, bring it to senior executives for sign-off. At this stage you should already have senior level support. The educator can also help explain the costs — both financial and time-related — to the executives if needed. More than 40% of all businesses cite the cost of the program as a barrier to implementation. It is therefore critical that when presenting the budget you sell the people signing off on the importance of program. An INVESTMENT in financial education for employees will pay dividends for years to come. It’s important to note that the cost for financial education will pay off over time. Having a more financially literate and confident workforce will pay dividends year over year through greater productivity and engagement. STEP 7
  • 10. Right now, nearly 70% of companies that do offer financial education don’t measure employee engagement and participation in the program, while 80% of all companies don’t plan on measuring it at all.1 If there’s no measurement process then how can you know if the education has been successful? Companies must define success before moving forward. That involves making sure people are attending sessions and actually listening to the education. If you know that people are present and soaking in what’s being taught, then you’ll be able to tell if these programs are working. Aon Hewitt’s Marie Donnelly said this about measuring engagement: “You can fill up all the chairs, but people still need to be engaged. You have to have a way to measure that engagement and find out how many will take action. That will make companies more confident in making the investment in education.” The meaning of success will depend on each company. Ultimately, do you want to reduce financial stress to boost productivity? Do you want to increase participation in pension and benefits programs? Do you want to see a drop in absenteeism? An increase in employee moral? Reduced drug plan costs? Or do you just want to do the right thing for your employees? The third-party financial educator should be able to help you define what success looks like. By working with the third-party educator to develop a definition of success, you create a benchmark to measure whether the program has worked. You can then provide the information necessary to argue for or against its continuance. Outline What Success Looks Like © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 10 Companies must define what success looks like to determine if the programs are working, and to be able to argue for or against their continuance. STEP 8
  • 11. Once you figure out what you’d like to achieve, the next step is finding out if your financial well-being programs are working. The best way to do this is to measure the change in the financial confidence of employees. The third-party educator should have a way to measure a few key measurements: • The change in the employees’ financial confidence • The attendance, participation and engagement of attendees • The perception and satisfaction of the employees with the program Benchmark employee financial wellness One way to figure out if the program was successful is by surveying employees. The survey could be eight to 10 questions and would measure employees’ feelings about their personal finances. Ask the questions before the program begins, half way through, and then when it ends to measure the difference. Follow up a few months later with another survey to see if real change has taken place and if people have taken action to fix their personal finances. Analytics If you’re using online tools, such as webinars, videos or social media, it’s easy to track data. For webinars, the educator can see how many people were watching the session, how long people were watching it and how many people participated in the Q&A, among other things. If you’re offering additional materials via social media you can see how many people clicked on a link, reposted content to share with other people and more. Employee satisfaction It’s also important to ask employees to rate and comment on what they thought of each module of the program. As well, get people to provide feedback half way through the sessions and at the end. That allows you to see what your staff thought of the education and if their perceptions changed during the training. While there are various ways to measure engagement and results, what’s most important is that you make an effort to gauge the success of a program. If you can see that it works, then you’ll be able to justify its value when it is challenged as “unnecessary” or “not in the budget”. Determine How and What to Measure © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 11 Wellness benchmark, analytics and ongoing employee-satisfaction surveys should all be used to measure the effectiveness of the program. STEP 9
  • 12. This last step is crucial to the success of the program. Companies, along with the educators, need to develop a comprehensive communication plan to ensure acceptance and success of the program. The communication needs to be in two parts: 1. Internal company communication answering the question of WHY the company is providing the program 2. Detailed communication selling the components of the program Initial communication from the CEO to HR and management staff about why the company is doing this, why it is good for the company, and why it is good for them, will be paramount in gaining their support. Subsequent similar communications from the CEO to all the employees will give the staff permission and confidence to participate in the program. Communication should also explain the various modules of the program, helping to “sell” the program to the employees. These will come from HR and the various managers in ways that are most effective for each business. Here are some of the questions a communication plan must address: • How will you initially present the idea of financial education training to staff? • What questions will you include in the first survey which will gauge employees’ needs and the best method of delivery? • If this is a multi-lesson program, how will you get people to participate multiple times? Figure out how to get them to the first session and then how to keep them coming back • If it’s a one-time session, how will you get people to show up? • What will you say to senior management to get them on board? It’s important to address all of these points, otherwise it’s easy to miss a crucial piece of the training puzzle. The third-party educator should have experience in developing a communication plan. He or she can help your company determine how to get management on board and, most importantly, employees in seats. Build a Plan to Engage Employees in the Program © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 12 Communications from the CEO to all the employees, supporting the program will give the staff permission and confidence to participate in the program. STEP 10
  • 13. This guide has outlined the 10 steps you need to take to successfully implement a financial well-being program at your workplace. To make sure you’re following each step, here’s a quick recap of what’s been discussed. Print this off and share with other co-workers who are involved in bringing this education to the office. 1. Get Buy-In from Senior Executives • Explain the cost benefits to executives • Show how the company will save — and make — money thanks to higher engagement • Make the message personal 2. Find a Third-Party Provider • Find someone who doesn’t sell a product • Make sure the educator is experienced • Seek out an accredited financial educator 3. Identify What Financial Education Employees Want and Need • Survey employees to see what topics they need and want • Offer a range of topics, not just benefits and pensions • Emphasis of the education may be based on what staff care about most 4. Build the Program • Determine what type of education needs to be offered based on the survey • Think about how you want to deliver the education • Consider customizing the program — one-size-fits-all may not work 5. Identify the Best Delivery Method • Check the survey to see how employees want their education delivered • Choose the method of delivery depending on company structure • Decide how best to deliver the education Conclusion © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 13 Taking the time to properly implement a financial well-being program will go a long way to ensuring its success.
  • 14. 6. Identify Company Resources Available for Training and Education • Identify where and when the training will be held • Identify a “champion” to help get the rest of the workforce excited about the training • Be sure the time and place of the training is convenient for employees 7. Develop a Budget and Get It Approved • Make sure the budget includes financial AND time costs • Present the budget to senior executives for sign-off • Sell senior staff on the value of the program and that the investment will pay dividends for years to come 8. Outline What Success Looks Like • Define what success looks like • Determine how you want to measure that success — is it a boost in productivity? An increase in employee moral? • Discuss ways to measure engagement and participation in the actual sessions 9. Determine How and What to Measure • Use a survey to measure employees’ financial wellness • Poll employees to learn whether they were satisfied with what was offered • If you’re offering courses online, use analytics to determine participation rates 10. Build a Communication Plan to Engage Employees in the Program • Develop internal communication that answers “why” this education is being offered • Sell the program to staff by explaining what’s involved • Be sure to communicate in multiple ways to ensure the message reaches everyone Conclusion Page 2 © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being 14 Leveraging the expertise of a third- party financial educator will make the process of implementing the program much easier.
  • 15. 15 We develop, deliver and implement customized financial education programs for businesses with 10 to 10,000 employees. We do not sell or manage any products and only provide financial education services. Education Not Information Our programs are designed using the most modern adult education methods to ensure your employees are educated and not just informed. Financial Basics and Much More Our modules cover the entire personal finance spectrum. Lifestyle planning, debt and cash flow to investing, retirement, tax, and estate planning make up the core programs. Additional programs on elder care, children’s education and executive compensation are also available. Available in All Formats Seminars, webinars, one-on-one coaching, individual financial planning, self-study, recorded webinars and video are all available. All our education can be taught in most formats. We will work with you to help determine which is likely to be most successful. Delivered by Accredited, Experienced Professionals All our facilitators are experienced at delivering personal financial education. They also hold at least two personal finance designations. This combined knowledge and experience ensures employees’ questions are answered and the correct information is given. It also increases the rate of change in your employees. Determining Employees’ Wants and Needs We work with you by conducting a comprehensive survey to help identify your employees’ wants and needs for a financial education program. We run the survey and conduct a few interviews confidentially to understand the underlying financial concerns of your employees. We use the data to build a proposal recommending the best topics, times and formats to ensure a successful financial education program. Measuring Performance and Defining Success Through our proprietary methods, we assess the employees’ financial well-being prior, during and post education to be able to measure the change. We work with you to define what success looks like and develop ways to measure the performance of your employees. Program Communication We know that you and your team are busy running a company. To make it easier and help to ensure greater participation and engagement in the program, we have developed a communications package for you to add your names and logos to. From initial communication from the CEO, to the ongoing communication of the various modules, this package takes the work out of getting employees to participate. To discuss the goals of your business and help your employees achieve a better quality of life, please contact Frank Wiginton. We’re Here to Help Frank Wiginton, CEO Employee Financial Well-Being frank@employeefinancialeducation.ca employeefinancialwellbeing.ca 416-999-7392 877-227-8201 © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being
  • 16. © 2014 Employee Financial Well-Being Guide Employee Financial Well-Being 10 steps to successfully implementing an employee financial well-being program Part 3 Learn More About Financial Well-Being in the Workplace White Paper Increase Profitability Through Fiancial Literacy Restore productivity and regain organizational commitment through employee financial well-being White Paper Financial Literacy for Employees Understanding what makes an effective financial well-being program Part 1 White Paper Workplace Financial Education The benefits and rewards of a financially literate workforce Part 2 Guide howtoeatanelephant.ca Infographic 1 Financial Well-Being in the Workplace 87% 48%are willing to pay some or all of the costs have not sought financial advice in the last 24 months 51%of employees will participate in financial education 86% $2,000a year employers can save from a financially healthy employee 3:1or more ROI for employers who offer employees quality financial programs $ during work hours during lunch breakat home on my own time on the weekend Preferred formats for receiving financial education: LEARNING EFFECTIVENESSCOST EMPLOYEE PREFERENCE #1 in-person seminars one-on-one coaching #2 live webinars #3 self-study/video tutorial #4 self-study workbook and guides #5 recorded webinars #6 social media and short clips #7 #8 blogs/e-mail/newsletter articles of employees WANT financial education feel that it is very to extremely important to have an EXPERIENCED financial educator providing financial education 86% 80%feel it is very to extremely important to have an ACCREDITED financial educator providing the education Preferred times to participate in a financial education program are: right after work Financial Well-Being in the Workplace Infographic 2 Financial Literacy for Employees BOOKLET See Money DifferentlyTM Financial Literacy for Employees Companies top concerns regarding employees and their benefits: When do companies provide financial education? of companies feel the education provided is useful59% PRODUCTIVITY ENGAGEMENT MARKETPLACE COMPETITIVENESS SALARIES ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT TURNOVER BENEFITS DRUG BENEFIT COSTS MENTAL WELLNESS ABSENTEEISM PRESENTEEISM HARASSMENT WORKPLACE VIOLENCE during work hours on employee’s time lunch breaks weekends right after work 69% 50% of COMPANIES say they offer financial education of EMPLOYEES say their company offers financial education vs Who provides the financial education? 57% company HR 38% independent 3rd party provider 28% benefit provider 27% employee assistance provider 72%of companies believe employee financial education will benefit them 42% online self-study one-on-one coaching 39% live webinar 59% live seminar How companies are providing financial education: 32% Companies want education from a third-party educator to be: 82% 88%Unbiased 87%Experienced Accredited Money DifferentlyTM See and build a better financial future Workplace Financial Education The benefits and rewards of a financially literate workforce Part 2 WHITE PAPER Financial Literacy for Employees Understanding what makes an effective financial well-being program Part 1 WHITE PAPER Increase Profitability Through Financial Literacy Restore productivity and regain organizational commitment through employee financial well-being WHITE PAPER Employee Financial Well-Being to successfully implementing an employee financial well-being program Part 3 GUIDE STEPS 10 16