Shhh! We don’t talk about that.

Written by FinFit on .
Shhh! We don’t talk about that.

Surveys have shown that employees are asking for financial wellness help. According to a 2018 PwC survey, 25% of employees would like financial wellness benefits. You’re organization has responded by updating your employee benefits package to include financial wellness. And…. {queue in cricket chirps}

So just what is the problem?

The stigma

There are three things Americans don’t talk about: politics, religion and money; a familiar statement many of us have heard since we were children. It seems we’ve done a good job of taking this advice to heart, especially when it comes to the topic of money. According to a Wells Fargo survey1, 44 percent of Americans find personal finance to be the most difficult subject to talk about, even more than politics, religion and death.

Even with spouses.

Based on data2 from Fidelity Investments, 43% of Americans don’t know how much money their spouse makes.

You can lead a horse to water, but…

If money is such an uncomfortable topic even at home, it’s certainly not something an employee is willing to talk about at work. However, you can bet for many it’s top of mind! When you compound social stigma with the feeling of shame or embarrassment that can accompany financial challenges, it’s going to be difficult to get employees to open up about their specific needs. So it’s no wonder there aren’t more participants in your financial wellness program – employees are likely too uncomfortable to ask you about it.

Removing the money taboo

Based on a Health and Wealth study conducted by Manulife3, an approach for overcoming the stigma surrounding money issues is one that has been working for companies seeking to overcome mental health issues.

This approach is based on normalization, non-judgement and ongoing education. According to the article:

  • Normalization communicates the message to employees that financial issues are “common and experienced by many others – they’re not alone and there is a way forward.”
  • Non-judgement in your organization communicates the message that “having financial issues doesn’t mean those suffering are inept or unable to manage money.” This message is supported by making your financial wellness program easily accessible to your employees. It’s distributing information using channels that employees will actually take note of – communicate to them where they are engaged. It’s having an open, welcoming door for employees seeking assistance. And when employees do put their trust in you, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the benefit you offer and to have the information they need readily on hand to support your message of non-judgement. It’s like putting your money where your mouth is.
  • Education includes helping “employees understand that financial literacy is a learned skill for everyone – one which requires education and practice.” Encourage your employees to utilize your financial wellness program by spotlighting different features throughout the year. Point out the ability to take a personalized assessment that will guide them toward the program resources that will help them achieve their goals. Let them know about budgeting tools and financial calculators that can help them figure out things such as how much car they can afford or how long it will take to pay off credit card debt.

It takes a village

It’s time to get comfortable talking money with your employees. This doesn’t mean discussing your or your spouse’s salary (do you know how much your spouse makes?). It means talking up financial wellness. Encourage conversations about retirement goals and your company’s 401(k) matching program or talking about the triple tax benefit of your HSA benefit. If your company has a solution to help with student loan debt, acknowledge these financial struggles and make sure your employees know you have the resources to help. If you find informative articles that support any of these money-related conversations, share them with your workforce. Show them it’s okay to talk about money in your organization. For the financial wellbeing of your employees, it’s time to break down the money stigma barrier.

Want a financial wellness program to talk about? Give us a call.

1 Why Is It So Hard to Talk about Money?

2 We’re All Afraid to Talk About Money. Here’s How to Break the Taboo.

3 Financial Wellness & Stigma – Addressing Society’s Money Taboo

© Copyright . All rights reserved.

Loans are made by Celtic Bank, a Utah-Chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC. Loans subject to credit approval. Loan products, features, and service providers vary by state. Service providers are FinFit Ops, LLC (see licenses) or its affiliate, Salary Finance, Inc. (see licenses). See application terms and loan agreements for more details.

Funding time dependent upon funding method selected. Expedited funding may incur additional fees.

FinFit is a financial technology company and is not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group; Member FDIC.

Student loan services are provided by unaffiliated third parties. FinFit loans issued by Celtic Bank do not include student loans.

Wage Now is fully funded and managed by an affiliate of FinFit. If any fees apply, those fees will be disclosed prior to entering into any agreements.
Residents of California, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont are not eligible for WageNow. This does not constitute an offer or solicitation for WageNow to residents of those states.

FinFit’s Financial Wellness Program, which includes educational content, a financial assessment and a financial dashboard, are free to registered members.
Services offered may incur fees and/or interest. All fees will be disclosed prior to entering into any agreements.
Products listed are a representation of FinFit offerings. Actual availability may vary. The products available to you and your organization will appear on your FinFit membership dashboard. Actual loan amounts and rates offered vary based on lender, credit worthiness and other factors.

Privacy Notice (Sp) | FinFit Privacy Policy (Sp) | Licenses | *US Patriot Act | Website Terms & Conditions | Member Rewards Terms & Conditions
SC Consumer Rights & Responsibilities | NM Small Loan Consumer Brochure | NM Loan Rate & Fee Disclosure | Additional Information for NM Residents