6 key pieces to a financially sound employee benefits package

Power of Two

Andrew McNeil (andrewm@arrowbenefitsgroup.com, 707-992-3789) and Rosario Avila (rosarioa@arrowbenefitsgroup.com, 707-992-3795) are senior benefits advisers at Arrow Benefits Group in Petaluma.

Read their previous columns.

Financial health can mean the difference between contented or stressed workers

At first glance, Employee Benefits Programs appear to be a “dime a dozen, one-size-fits-all” proposition. Today, in addition to offering competitive salaries, organizations recognize that one crucial aspect of a solid benefits package is the role it plays in promoting employee financial security.

Here is our take on contributing to the overall well-being of your workforce, including promoting financial health for both employees and the organization itself.

Health insurance, wellness programs

Offering well-rounded and expanded health insurance plans safeguard against catastrophic medical expenses. Access to preventive care and medical remedies leads to early detection of issues when treatments are less costly. This helps to significantly reduce the financial burden on employees, allowing them to focus on their work without worrying about health care costs.

Wellness programs — including gym memberships, counseling services, preventive care and health screenings — encourage employees to adopt healthier lifestyles. This prevents chronic health conditions, and in the long term, contributes to employees' financial security.

Financial wellness — enhancing organizational health

The role financial health plays in succession planning and career growth is often overlooked. Developing a reputation for a commitment to development attracts a talented workforce. Employees also want a clear career path and opportunities to move up the ladder. However, if your more seasoned staff isn’t retirement-ready, they will stay in their positions longer than they would otherwise, limiting growth opportunities for others. In these situations, workers ready for more challenges are blocked from moving up. This has a cascading effect throughout an organization, which can cause talented employees to leave for greener pastures.

Retirement savings, investment plans

Benefits packages that include retirement savings plans such as 401(k) or pension plans are important in promoting long-term financial security. These plans allow employees to contribute a portion of their earnings to a tax-advantaged retirement account. When employers match a percentage of that contribution, it serves as an additional incentive to save for retirement. The compounding of long-term investments assists employees in building their nest egg, helping to ensure they have a comfortable retirement, worry less about their future and are much less likely to face financial difficulties.

Flexible work arrangements

We understand from personal experience that flexible work arrangements allow employees to better manage their personal and financial commitments. These include such initiatives as remote work options, variable hours or compressed workweeks. Providing greater control over daily schedules, where feasible, leads to lower stress levels and increased productivity. In addition, reduced commuting costs and lowered child care expenses resulting from working hours more fitting for families further contribute to overall financial stability.

Employee assistance programs (EAPs)

Employees' financial struggles can extend beyond the workplace and impact their overall mental and emotional well-being. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) often provide access to confidential counseling and support services for team members and their families. These programs can help individuals navigate financial challenges by offering advice on debt management, budgeting and financial planning. Most EAPs also connect their clients to outside resources to address their specific needs. By confronting financial stress proactively, EAPs contribute to, and promote, overall job satisfaction and reduce the risk of financial crises.

Educational benefits

Tuition reimbursement or access to skill-building courses allow employees to improve their qualifications and increase potential for career growth and higher salaries. Organizations that support continuous learning create an environment of growth, with employees who feel valued and motivated to stay with the company in the long term.

Investing in your employee’s financial well-being is an investment in the financial health of your organization itself. It is truly a win-win for everyone.

Power of Two

Andrew McNeil (andrewm@arrowbenefitsgroup.com, 707-992-3789) and Rosario Avila (rosarioa@arrowbenefitsgroup.com, 707-992-3795) are senior benefits advisers at Arrow Benefits Group in Petaluma.

Read their previous columns.

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