Financial Literacy Boosts Worker Productivity and Morale

April 08, 2015

When employers educate their workers and help them make the maximum use of their benefits, employees are likely to be more productive and engaged, according to two recent surveys. If you are an employer you want productive and happy employees. If you are an employee, you want to enjoy your job, your life and be happy.

In a survey conducted by Unum, 82% of employees who rated their benefits education highly also rated their employer as an excellent or a good place to work.* Similarly, when the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation and Employee Benefit News spoke with employers for their perspective, 83% believed that basic financial education was extremely important to their organization's overall level of productivity.** Despite these beliefs, a significant number of employers are reducing the amount of education provided to employees. According to the survey co-sponsored by the foundation and Employee Benefit News, the percentage of employers that provided the required investment and retirement education associated with a retirement plan declined from 88% in 2010 to 82% in 2012. A much smaller percentage, 52%, provided workplace financial education on topics such as budgeting, debt reduction, and credit management. However, it is worth mentioning that the percentage covering these topics increased significantly from 28% in 2010.**

So, as an employee, how can you gain more knowledge on finances? Ask questions, attend workshops and, tell your employer you are interested in learning more. As an employer our firm will present at your company for no charge and give the employees financial education and help to develop a financial wellness program for your employees. To find out more, contact Chris@prosperwell.com

Barriers Exist
When the foundation and Employee Benefit News asked employers about barriers to providing financial education in the workplace, 70% of employers mentioned too many higher priorities, 55% indicated high costs, and 49% said interference with employee work time. In addition, approximately half were not sure that upper management would support financial education in the workplace.

Unum's study revealed similar trends:

• Just one half of employees received a printed brochure about their benefits in 2011, down from 70% in 2008.
• Slightly more than one third of employees were offered an opportunity to attend a question-and-answer session about their benefits in 2011, down from 52% in 2008.
• Just 29% of employees had access to a toll-free number to speak with a benefits professional in 2011, a deep decline from 47% in 2008.

As employers prepare for their benefits enrollment period, they may want to ask whether their financial education efforts need a boost given the needs of the workforce and their organizational goals.

There are many ways you can offer your employees help with their financial wellness. Our office helps companies and organizations develop a healthy understanding and plan for financial independence. Our wealth advisors take the time to understand your vision and goals and then leverage the best resources and intellectual capital to help you pursue your goals. Your organization can then confidently understand and embrace financial decisions that engage executives and employees and can get you on a successful journey of experiencing financial happiness. From providing comprehensive strategic planning and implementation to serving as a mentor or guide for the strategies you have developed, our office can help you and your organization. For information please contact our office at 763-231-9510.

Source: Unum, "Employee Morale Still on the Decline, but Benefits Education Can Help," August 8, 2012.

Source: Employee Benefit News, "Financial Literacy Tied to Productivity," August 9, 2012.

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