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How Brokers Can Help Employers Focus More on the Family

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With inflation continuing to run higher than any of us want, it is getting harder for many families to make ends meet. In this reality, there is a temptation to believe that the best way employers can focus on the family is to offer higher wages. More money certainly would help, but it’s not the only way to focus more on the family.

How Employees Feel About Finances

Greenlight’s 2023 Financial Wellness and the Workplace Report reveals that struggling employees want financial literacy help as much as higher pay. Check out these three statistics from that report:

  • 44% believe their employees don’t care about their financial well-being.
  • 81% said they wish they had more access to financial education resources.
  • 66% would switch employers to gain access to financial literacy help.

It is true that American families are struggling with inflation. But they are also struggling with money management. They do not know how to best manage the financial resources they have, and that leaves them feeling vulnerable.

Make Financial Literacy a Priority

There are things employers can do to focus more on the family in terms of workplace benefits. Likewise, brokers can come alongside employers to help implement plans and programs. At the top of the list are financial literacy benefits, according to general agency BenefitMall. Financial literacy can and should be a benefits priority.

Financial literacy benefits are fairly easy and inexpensive to implement. Options can include things like educational seminars and low or no-cost access to financial planning services. Educational opportunities focusing on simple things like budgeting and debt reduction can go a long way toward improving an employee’s financial outlook.

Ask Employees What They Need

Brokers are in a unique position when it comes to financial literacy. Through surveys and other means, they can outright ask employees what they want. Then they can search for benefits that meet the need and have employer support.

In general, brokers and employers often struggle to come up with the best possible benefits package simply because they do not ask. That is a mistake. Asking is the simplest way to understand the direction a benefits program should take.

Look for Benefits with a Direct Impact

Beyond financial literacy benefits, brokers can look for other benefits that have a direct impact on family finances. Such benefits could include things like high deductible health plans (HDHPs) coupled with health savings accounts (HSAs) that result in lower monthly premiums. But brokers can reach beyond traditional benefits.

A good example of a non-traditional benefit that still has a positive impact on family finances is flexible scheduling. Giving employees an opportunity to control their own schedules could mean no longer having to pay for childcare. One parent can be home during the day and work at night while the other does just the opposite.

Allowing full or partial remote work is another good example. Allowing employees to work from home can help reduce family expenses – affecting everything from commuting to paying someone to come over and walk the dogs.

Creativity and Flexibility Are Key

In the aftermath of the COVID pandemic and its associated shutdowns and furloughs, American workers have reevaluated their priorities. They now place a premium on family and financial literacy. Companies hoping to retain their employees need to do a better job focusing on the family. The keys are flexibility and creativity.

The more flexible and creative employers are, the better job they will do focusing on the family. But they need their brokers’ help. That means brokers must be equally flexible and creative in the benefits plans they propose.

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