It's Your Money  

How to improve the financial wellbeing of your employees

Foster financial wellness

In recent years, some Canadian employers have recognized the importance of supporting their employees' financial well-being – understanding that financial stress can significantly impact an individual's productivity, engagement, and overall health.

This stress can also lead to reduced job satisfaction, increased absenteeism, and turnover. All things that will make the employer’s business more challenging to run and less profitable.

By implementing comprehensive financial wellness programs, employers can create a more financially resilient workforce, fostering a positive and productive work environment.

Here are 10 strategies to help you do it the right way:

1. Financial Education and Workshops: Offer financial education programs and workshops to equip employees with essential money management skills. Topics can include budgeting, saving for emergencies, retirement planning, and debt management. Engaging financial experts to conduct workshops can provide valuable insights and encourage employees to make informed financial decisions. You can even build these into staff “social” days where you start with a helpful workshop and then do something fun to team-build.

2. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Include financial counselling as part of your Employee Assistance Programs. Confidential one-on-one counselling sessions can help employees address personal financial challenges, such as debt or budgeting issues, and create actionable plans for improvement.

3. Flexible Compensation Packages: Provide employees with flexible compensation options, such as the ability to allocate a portion of their salary towards retirement savings, health savings accounts, or additional vacation days. This allows employees to tailor their benefits to meet their unique financial needs and goals.

4. Retirement Planning Assistance: Offer retirement planning resources, such as retirement calculators and access to financial advisors, to help employees make informed decisions about their retirement savings and investments.

5. Financial Tools and Apps: Provide access to financial tools and apps that can help employees track their spending, manage budgets, and monitor their savings progress. These tools can be particularly beneficial for younger employees who are tech-savvy and prefer digital solutions.

6. Student Loan Assistance: For younger employees burdened with student loans, consider implementing a student loan assistance program. Employers can offer contributions towards their employees' student loan payments, helping to alleviate the financial strain and accelerate debt repayment.

7. Matching Retirement Contributions: If your company offers a retirement savings plan, consider providing a matching contribution to encourage employees to save for their future. Matching contributions can act as an incentive for employees to participate actively in retirement savings programs.

8. Promote Open Communication: Encourage an open and supportive culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their financial concerns. Create forums or support groups where employees can share financial tips, experiences, and resources.

9. Financial Wellness Challenges: Organize financial wellness challenges or competitions that motivate employees to achieve specific financial goals, such as saving a certain amount or paying off debt. Rewarding participants with incentives or recognition can further drive engagement.

10. Access to Low-Cost Credit and Financial Products: Partner with financial institutions to offer employees access to low-cost credit options or financial products with reduced fees, allowing them to manage their finances more efficiently.

Recognizing the impact of financial stress on employees is the first step. Employers can then take proactive steps to promote financial wellness in the workplace. These efforts not only lead to a more content and engaged workforce but also contribute to the long-term success and growth of the organization. As employers invest in their employees' financial well-being, they foster a culture of support and care that resonates throughout the workplace.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Brett has worked in the financial advice industry for over 15 years and is designated as a chartered investment manager(CIM) and certified financial planner (CFP).

In 2014, Brett was appointed to the board of directors of FP Canada (the national professional body for financial planning) and spent seven years on the board, including his final two as board chair. More recently, he was appointed to the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), which is the international professional body for this industry with a three-year term beginning in April 2023.

Brett has been writing a weekly financial planning column since 2012 and provides his readers with easy-to-understand explanations of the complex financial challenges that they face in every stage of life.

Enhancing the financial literacy of Canadian consumers is a top priority of Brett’s and his ongoing efforts as a finance writer and on the regulatory side through the national and global boards focus on this initiative.   

Please let Brett know if you have any topics that you’d like him to cover in future columns or if you’d like a referral to a qualified CFP professional in your area by emailing him at [email protected].


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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