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Is your business currently teaching your employees about financial wellness? Though it may not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to employee engagement, it’s an offering that many prospective workers may be in search of when choosing what company they want to work for. In order to attract high-level candidates, consider ways that you can teach your employees how to better manage their finances.
Ensuring your employees have proper financial wellness skills will not only help them feel confident in the workplace, but will also have them feeling valued by their employer and are more likely to stay long-term. As a leader, it’s important to take an introspective look at the offerings your company currently has and evaluate how you can improve or begin implementing them into your organization.
What Every Leader Should Be Teaching Their Employees About Finances
Follow along for some of the most important financial lessons you should be teaching your employees.
Teach Your Employees The Fundamentals
When it comes to teaching employees about finance, it’s always best to start with the basics and work your way up to more complex topics. There are a wide range of topics you can cover, so be sure to choose the ones that you think will bring the most value to your specific team. For inspiration on these topics, lean on professional resources such as guest speakers, seminars, or online learning tools that can help you better navigate these conversations.
A simple way to start this process is to encourage your employees to do their own research before big purchases. Whether they’re determining how much house they can afford or looking to start a family of their own, encouraging your employees to ask questions and utilize available resources will help them feel confident in their financial decisions. During their time at your company, it’s likely that they will make a few major investments. Having open time during your day where your staff can approach you and ask questions will help them feel more comfortable and ready to handle any financial decisions coming their way.
There are many times throughout the year when these fundamental discussions can be relevant such as bonus periods, holidays, and tax season. Tax season is a particularly great time to offer learning opportunities. Hosting discussions around tax returns can be helpful as taxes are an area that many employees find to be overwhelming. Having an informational hub or discussions on how they can do their taxes will be a huge weight lifted off their shoulders. Even just providing basic information on what this year’s tax returns may look like will be a huge benefit to them.
Review Company Benefits
As a leader, it’s important to take the proper time to educate employees on the company benefits and financial resources they have available to them. Although it’s likely these benefits will be reviewed during the onboarding process, providing ongoing training and reminders on these benefits will be greatly appreciated by your existing employees. Host open invitation meetings on a routine basis where employees can get a refresher and ask any questions they may have. This is especially important to do during open enrollment periods. Some of the major company benefits you’ll want to review with employees include health insurance, retirement plans, life insurance, and disability coverage.
Outside of the routine benefit packages, you should also take some time to educate your employees on any other programs your company has available to your staff. This may include an Employee Assistance Program or even a financial advisor contact with your 401(k) or retirement plan. Simply giving them the appropriate contact and information to these resources will help point them in the right direction and make them feel valued to the company.
Offer Learning Opportunities
Offering educational opportunities on budgeting and personal finance is a major perk for any business to offer. Though hosting meetings on personal finance lessons may seem like a waste of time, it can greatly help your employees feel more comfortable and valued in their work environment.
To make learning opportunities more enticing and valuable, think about ways that you can sponsor more unique opportunities. One way to do so is to consider taking an annual company retreat or conference. At these events, you can incorporate some financial advice into the day to help keep your employees on track for financial success. It’s a great way to further your available learning opportunities while keeping your employees motivated and engaged.
Foster Open Communication
One of the most important things an employer can do for their team is to foster an open communication environment where anyone is welcomed and encouraged to ask questions and host their own discussions. Having strong communication skills is a valuable trait for leaders to possess and one of the most sought after traits employees want their superiors to possess.
Let your team members know that you are there to listen and help them during times when they may need it most. For example, during one-on-one meetings and any critical discussions, it’s important to be open and honest. Transparency will always go a long way at any company. When transparency exists, team members are more likely to have higher satisfaction levels, productivity, commitment to the company, and overall alignment between teams.
When developing an open environment, think about your employees who may be more reserved or less likely to speak. These employees are only likely to ask questions in a one-on-one environment when they feel comfortable doing so.
For these important discussions, such as career and salary talks, it’s especially important to be transparent and ready to listen. Salary is something that can be an intimidating topic for many employees. To minimize these fears, be upfront about the salary you are giving your employees and allow open communication about raises. Even if you aren’t able to give a raise, employees will appreciate the honesty and open communication.
Your employees value and appreciate any time you spend making them feel valued and heard. Be sure to allow for plenty of feedback during these educational sessions or meetings as this will help you in the long-term. Now it’s time to start teaching!