Organizations spend significant sums of money on employee training and wellness — everything from offsite retreats, year-end parties, team-building getaways, conference passes, leadership programs and more.
But there’s one area of employee wellness which is often overlooked: financial literacy
Our schools and colleges teach us nothing about finances.
Yet, anyone who enters the workforce, is thrown almost immediately into a seemingly incomprehensible quicksand of financial jargon and concepts.
Several lie there; submerged until their waists, tapping their fingers away, being too hesitant to seek help. Its not impossible to find folks even in senior leadership positions, with decades of work experience, or a shelf full of patents, with little or no understanding of finances.
A salary is the primary source of livelihood to your employees
It guides how they live, how they thrive, and eventually, how they retire.
So consider this:
Barely 2 out of 10 working Indian adults possess an adequate understanding of necessary financial concepts.
That statistic is from a study of global financial literacy conducted by S&P. The findings are consistent with an anonymous quiz we run on our website. Barely 2 folks out of every 10 manage to score more than 7.
A sound knowledge of taxation, investing, and essential finances is a critical life-skill
It helps individuals make wiser decisions about how they deploy their salaries, and about how they can ensure that they don’t become victims of the mis-selling. The mis-selling in financial space in India is rampant. Millions of highly educated folks fall prey to bad advise, and end up committing the same financial mistakes year after year.
To top it off, there is an insurmountably high level of financial noise. For example, did you know that a recession had been predicted for each and every year the last 10 years?
So how can you as an employer or HR, help your employees?
Consider making financial wellness programs a part of your annual L&D calendars. Provide your talented workforce with the resources and knowledge they need to understand finances better.
You’ll end up altering their lives in the most impactful of ways; not just temporarily, but through retirement, and well after.
But the benefits of increased financial literacy, positively impacts organizations and HR teams too
- Employees who know how to invest better, are known to be less-stressed than those who don’t. Studies have shown that increased financial awareness increases productivity.
- A better understanding of financial products will enable your payroll teams to craft more compelling employee incentive programs.
There are countless more benefits. A few more here.
A cautionary tale before you proceed
There are umpteen financial middlemen who masquerade as financial education providers. They promote specific products and services, with the intent of raking in commissions. Since they often provide programs for free, employers often fall for their pitch, and inadvertently, end up signing their entire workforce for an advertising session. What your people need is education. And educaion should always be impartial, unbiased.
Because even small percentages of commissions, have a disturbingly huge impact on wealth. So no matter who you pick, ensure you pick an education provider who is 100% sales-free.
The knowledge of investing and essential finances can do wonders. And a good financial wellness program can give your employees a significant head-start.
So its time to become their hero. Help them fill this void of knowledge which their colleges and past employers failed to fill.
You’ll end up being there Hero for life.
And good luck changing lives.