You Can’t Help Employees Achieve Wellness Without Talking About Money
Money issues are dominating your employees’ brainwaves. Including simple financial tips and perspective into wellness communication should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it’s not.
But throughout your organization, workers feel worried about their bank accounts, credit card statements, and retirement plans. Many of them lack basic knowledge about savings, spending, debt, and investments.
“A basic truth about finances is that everyone has concern, not just people who are struggling,” says Bill Russo, a certified financial planner and the principal of Concord Financial Planners in Solon, Ohio. “Those issues can begin to take on a life of their own. People fear what they don’t understand, so stress becomes ever-present.”
A basic truth that wellness committees can embrace: People evaluate their well-being in financial terms before they do so in health terms. If they feel pain in the pocketbook, then the seemingly priceless details in your conventional wellness communication might be worthless to them.
You can make your wellness program a venue for basic financial education and inspiration. Here are 3 quick tips:
#1. Embrace the marriage. Helping employees become finance-literate goes a long way to helping them become health-literate. The two topics should go hand-in-hand under the same banner of “wellness.” Just as poor health negatively affects employees’ personal finances (for example, low credit scores resulting from unpaid medical bills), health is also negatively impacted by personal finances (for example, overdue bills causing physical stress symptoms).
#2. Draw upon the benefit of “small steps.” Just as you aim to avoid confusing health terms and jargon, keep the voice of your financial material straightforward.
When Russo explains the power of compound interest, he takes out a checkerboard and pennies. “I show people that if you double the number of pennies as you move from square to square, you’ll soon need millions. The point is to reveal a seemingly difficult concept in an accessible, interesting way.”
#3. Keep it simple and short. As always, communicate financial content with “scannable” headlines, bulleted lists and easy-to-read graphs. Try using one-minute videos.
Health and money. Money and health. Each is integral. Now it’s time to make them integrated.
For more perspective on integrating financial matters into your wellness plan …
- Check out MegaTrend #7 in our free eBook, “New Perspectives in Wellness & Benefits Communication.”
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