Eighty per cent of employees want some type of financial education to be offered at work, found Eckler’s recent national survey on financial wellness in the workplace.
The study also asked respondents about their degree of financial stress. Fifty four per cent said they feel some degree of stress about their finances, and close to one-third described it as a high degree of stress. Providing financial education can empower employees to gain control of their finances, says Eckler.
Amount of stress is unprecedented
"The amount of stress Canadians face today is unprecedented. Lack of focus at work, increasing amounts of time spent managing personal finances and increased use of employee benefit plans to manage stress-related illnesses is now commonplace," said Janice Holman, Principal, Eckler Ltd. in a statement Sept. 11. "As employers continue to look to financial wellness programs as the prescription for mitigating both the personal and workplace impacts of financial stress, designing a program that fits the symptoms and is offered with the right treatment plan is critical to improving outcomes."
Regarding who should deliver the financial education, 84% of employers and 90% of employees want their third-party educator to be unbiased, and 85% of companies and 84% of employees want their education programs to be provided by a third party that is experienced. More than 80% of employers and 74% of employees say third-party accreditation is important.
An unbiased source
"Who delivers the financial education plays an important role in how the messaging is perceived and accepted,” said Frank Wiginton, Consultant, Eckler Ltd. “If the source of education is not trusted, motivation for employees to take action based on the information provided will be low. Receiving information from an unbiased source was the most highly ranked answer in the survey and is key to employees engaging with the education they receive."
According to the survey, while a good number of employers are offering financial education programs, progress can be made in three critical areas: making connections between organizational objectives and the impact of employee financial stress, program alignment with employee needs and preferences, program assessment and measurement, says Eckler.