Have you thought about your employee’s resolutions for 2017? Many people list common goals like eating healthier and exercising more, but these days, financial improvement is just as pressing a concern. Personal finance company LendEDU surveyed 1,001 U.S. employees to find out their financial resolutions for the new year. When asked which of the following was their most important goal for 2017 – save more, pay off debt or spend less – nearly 53 percent chose the first option. Thirty-six percent wanted to reduce their debt, while only 12 percent wanted to spend less.
These findings demonstrate people’s top financial concerns for 2017. The amount of people who wanted to save money and who were concerned about unexpected expenses was almost exactly the same. Other concerns included health care costs, higher interest rates and the labor market.
According to a report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, helping employees address these issues can increase their engagement and work performance.
Helping Employees Financially in 2017
Interestingly, of the people who set financial resolutions for 2016, only 58 percent said they met or exceeded their goals. Similarly, only 65 percent said they feel more financially secure than they were in 2015. While these figures represent more than half of respondents to each question, they still aren’t very high.
One way to begin helping employees with their finances is to encourage them to set goals. LendEDU found less than half – 41 percent – of respondents set a financial resolution last year. This could be why some people feel less financially secure than they did 12 months ago.
If your company uses goal-setting software, encourage employees to take the lessons they’ve learned in the workplace and apply them to their personal finances. Have them create objectives and key results that are specific, time-sensitive and aspirational. This makes individuals more likely to succeed – in fact, 20 percent of LendEDU respondents said breaking long-term goals into segments would help them stick to their financial targets.
You can also hold financial planning workshops or work with a third party to teach your employees financial literacy. An overwhelming 71 percent of employees don’t feel they were taught enough about personal finance in high school or college. Financial Finesse, a company that creates budgeting and counseling workshops, found employees who worked closely with a workplace financial wellness program were more comfortable with their debt, more confident in their investments and believed they were on the right path for retirement.