We teamed up with research powerhouse Harris Poll to conduct an in-depth survey of 1,000 American employees aged 18+ to gauge what they think about–and want from–financial wellness programs offered by their employer.
What did the survey find?
Many, many fascinating and, frankly, surprising things. Things that reveal a lot about what employees (and people in general) feel and think (and fear) when it comes to getting help with their finances. Things, we hope, that benefits and wellness professionals everywhere are going to find extremely illuminating…and instructive as they build their financial wellness programs.
Below are six of the most eye-opening findings. Download the full survey.
Finding #1: A Wide Gap Exists Between the Appeal of Financial Wellness Programs and Their Perceived Availability
While vast majority of employees (86%) say it is important for employers to offer financial wellness programs, fewer than half (46%) say their companies actually make them available, and–somewhat alarmingly–25% of employees say they’re not sure if a program is offered or not.
Finding #2: Financial Wellness Programs Can Be Scary
In fact, 56% of employees wish the financial resources offered by their company used “friendlier language,” and 36% go so far as to say that their companies’ programs are intimidating to use.
Finding #3: Younger adults especially crave both guidance with planning for their financial future and managing their personal finances.
Among employees who say their company doesn’t offer resources to help plan for their financial future or were unsure, younger adults are more likely to say they would use these resources if they were available (86% ages 18-34 vs. 66% ages 35-49; 66% ages 50+).
Among employees who say their company does not offer resources to help manage their personal finances or were unsure, younger adults are more likely to say they would use these resources if they were available (77% ages 18-34 vs. 60% ages 35-49; 52% ages 50+).
Finding #4: When it comes to actually using offered resources, employees are concerned about privacy–and the judgment of their colleagues
Among employees who have financial wellness programs available, 6 in 10 (60%) would not want their coworkers to know if they were to participate and nearly 1 in 2 (45%) would not want their company to know. Oh, and 36% feel there is at least a little stigma associated with utilizing employer financial wellness offerings.
Finding #5: Understandably, considering the above, more employees would prefer to receive financial wellness information from a neutral third party than from their own employer
Specifically, 44% would prefer a neutral third party; 26% would prefer their own company, and 30% had no preference
Finding #6: The most preferred method of receiving assistance–even more popular than one-on-one meetings with a human expert–is online tools.
For real. Forty-nine percent (49%) of the people polled said they would prefer a web-based tool, and only forty-two percent (42%) said they’d prefer a one-on-one in-person chat with an advisor.