Let’s face it: the world is getting increasingly expensive. And with the rising costs of everything, it’s easy to let stress gain control over us. The American Psychological Association conducted a study on Stress in America for 2022 and found that “inflation was reported as a source of stress for the vast majority of adults (83%), and the majority of all adults also said the economy (69%) and money (66%) are a significant source of stress.”
As an HR professional, what can you do to help your employees reduce financial stress? Education is the place to start. Education is the best way to make meaningful changes to our spending habits and can help individuals feel in charge of their financial situation.
Check out Bentek’s Advice for HR Professionals to Help Reduce Financial Stress
Health Care Savings Accounts
Healthcare expenses can pop up at any time and can often lead to a significant financial burden. Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts can act as a security blanket during uncertain times, but in order for your employees to take advantage they need to understand the entirety of this benefit.
Help your employees manage those costs when they arise by providing learning opportunities on the benefits of spending/savings accounts for health care. Offer training sessions where you give real-world examples on the benefits of utilization.
Click here to read more about these different benefit plan options.
Whether it is a pension, 401k, or another savings option, creating a strategy for future retirement is essential for today’s workforce. But like other monetary challenges, throwing money at it and hoping it is enough is not a viable strategy. So how can HR help their employees plan for the future?
Educate on the differences between 401k, 403b, 457 plans, pensions, etc. Discuss other saving account options available to your employees. Highlight the various resources available through your benefits program. Bring In trusted financial planners or wealth management professionals to lead workshops for your employees to help them create the future they want for themselves.
Leverage Knowledge from Market Experts
Tap into the expert advice of insurance brokers and consultants. Brokers and consultants have a wealth of knowledge about the insurance industry and can give you and your employees insight into what is happening in the market and provide educational resources, and more. Furthermore, they can refer to you vendors who specialize In various fields including insurance benefits and retirement planning.
Impact of Benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of benefits amounts to about 30% of total compensation. As an HR professional, you know the impact benefits can have when used properly, but how knowledgeable is your group about using them?
Each year we go through open enrollment to elect the benefit options we would like, but without education and resources, those benefits can end up costing you more or not being used properly and cause nothing but headaches.
Education is the key to ensuring that your employees know that their benefits can help relieve financial stress. Create learning opportunities throughout the year to teach your employees when and how to use their benefits to get the best bang for their buck. Make resources available 24/7/375 so employees can stay informed about changes, access helpful tools to compare plans and cost, and ultimately expand their own knowledge to make educated decisions in the future.
The worse part of financial insecurity is feeling like you’ve lost control. The best way to take back control, as highlighted in each section above, is through education. The more we know about the tools and resources available to us, the easier it becomes to reach out for assistance. And, isn’t that the true purpose of HR? We’re here to help the people we serve providing them with the tools and services they need to feel safe and secure, so they know they are not alone.
For more information on how you can best serve your employees, check out the other articles in the Bentek Blog.