Something unfortunate has happened to Financial Wellness in the workplace, even though it’s merely an infant in the world of workplace benefits. Financial wellness has become a shell game. Benefits companies and financial planning companies are now using the name of financial wellness to market something completely different.
If budgeting were so easy to teach, everyone would already have a fully functioning household budget. Budgeting is one of the most difficult things to teach a person, despite its simple nature. Very few programs can teach budgeting, motivate someone to budget, and create a long-term path for budgeting success. What is the likelihood all this can be accomplished by someone who uses financial wellness workshops to prospect for investment clients?
Consider this excerpt from an email I received from a financial advisor who puts on financial wellness programming in the workplace: “My approach is to offer education to the people that need it to gain access inside businesses in hopes of becoming the business owner’s or key employees’ financial advisor.” I sincerely wish I had manufactured this quote to make a point. But sadly, this is reality. Not just that advisor’s reality, but the financial wellness world’s reality. Let’s examine this idea a little closer.
What are the chances this advisor is actually an expert at communicating basic financial concepts? My theory is that if teaching budgeting to the masses in order to manage the money of the “higher-ups” is your strategy, then you don’t really see the importance of budgeting. Additionally, do you want to bring someone into your organization who is going to solicit business from your boss, simply because your boss is a “higher-up”? Seems to me this would be a terrible idea.
Take a moment to consider this scenario. An employee of yours decides to take control of her financial life, so she chooses to attend a financial wellness workshop. This workshop is facilitated by someone whose purpose is to sell things to your employee’s boss. Is the presenter’s end game to help your employee? No. In fact, your employee in-need is a pawn to this presenter. Why would you put your employees in this position?
It’s vitally important that you choose the right financial wellness program, not just a free financial wellness program. Some financial institutions, such as credit unions, have been able to navigate these waters appropriately, but I’ve yet to see an investment management or financial planning company pull it off without ulterior motives.
Our financial helpline is staffed by financial experts who will not sell your employees anything. Ever. They are 100% unbiased. We take this policy seriously. We believe financial education and help should come without strings. For more info about our no strings attached financial wellness programming, contact us today!