This article first appeared on Nasdaq.
Lets go deeper on last months theme: Employee wellness and the role financial advisors should play in encouraging their corporate clients to establish employee wellness programs.
Advisors can enable their corporate clients to accelerate employee performance by introducing well-thought-out financial wellness programs. In doing so, employee productivity typically increases exponentially.
In fact, employee performance can be derailed when they are facing challenges or uncertainty in their lives. For instance, they see financial industry chaos, which can result in doubt and hesitation regarding their investments and other financial decisions. This uncertainty affects other areas of their lives, including work performance.
Aon Hewitt found that most employers (85 percent) say they are creating and adding financial well-being programs because it is the “right thing to do”. Another 80 percent of employers report that their programs are designed to improve employee engagement.
According to Aon Hewitt’s Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Well-Being, “workers say they want their employer to provide them with the resources to help them obtain a more secure financial future, and it seems that employers are stepping up to this request.”
As financial advisors engage with their corporate clients and discuss the most effective wellness programs to introduce, focus should be on programs that ensure their employees gain confidence in understanding the role financial advisors have in delivering investment advice that lines up with life, moral and core principles.
Keep in mind that employees under financial pressure can cause significant issues to the business in terms of sickness, distraction, and more worryingly, potential rogue behavior. A more targeted approach to employees financial wellness – that includes going deeper into understanding their life goals – will undoubtedly reveal the most effective wellness program to introduce.
Working with corporate clients to introduce a financial wellness program that stands up to scrutiny and is based in integrity helps ensure and bolster an advisers reputation.
So, how should financial advisors advise their corporate clients on how to dig deep enough to reveal their employees financial and life goals?
Bearing in mind that many people do not have financial courage or awareness of their behavior around financial topics, leaders who, as a first step, avail their employees of a scientifically based discovery to reveal their life drivers and financial personality, will be ahead of the game in providing their employees with strong financial wellness programs.
Financial advisors should talk about implementing a financial wellness program that is more effective when leaders have a greater insight into their employees life goals, financial challenges and core principles. Armed with this information, leaders can more effectively evaluate the kind of financial wellness program to introduce. It also goes to the core of designing and implementing a rewards program.
Financial advisors who determine to engage their corporate clients in the financial wellness realm should themselves complete a natural discovery process to get a firsthand look at the deep information that will be revealed.
Financial wellness programs introduced in partnership with a quality behavioral insight tool helps employees ask the right questions of their advisors. They become aware of their tolerance for risk, how and what drives their financial decision making and where, if any, they need to manage their behavior in relation to their finances.
Further, within the business, employee conversations become more transparent around their finances. They will be more likely to seek help and support if they find themselves in a struggle. Better for the employer to know this and mediate a solution.
Financial advisors should ensure their corporate clients understand that when employees have a deeper awareness of themselves and their finances, it drives more appropriate behavior in the workplace as employees learn to line up their business performance with their financial well-being… that in turn aligns with their life plans. That is what delivers an empowered workforce.