The coronavirus pandemic has shined a stark spotlight on how many frontline workers lack emergency savings and access to affordable credit. Many households across the income spectrum—most of which are working households—struggle to make ends meet, to save for emergencies, to have access to affordable credit, and to build wealth.
National research also indicates that more than half of all employees report that they are financially stressed, and nearly one-third say that they are distracted at work by personal financial issues.
Successfully managing one’s income, one of the key building blocks of opportunity—along with education and health—means not only having a good job, but also knowing how to use one’s income in the most beneficial ways for your family.
A Helping Hand on the Job
Caring employers can help their workers with these critical challenges. To that end, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas helped with the design and pilot of the newly released Guide to Employee Financial Wellness, in partnership with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Washington University in St. Louis. The guide outlines six steps employers can take to research, identify and implement financial–wellness programs to support their frontline workers.
The guide helps employers advise their workers on all aspects of financial wellness, such as:
- Having control over day-to-day and month-to-month finances
- Having the capability to absorb a financial shock
- Being on track to meet financial goals
- Having the financial freedom to make choices that allow one to enjoy life
United Way’s Financial Wellness @ Work initiative convened a group of Dallas area human resources professionals to review and provide input on the research that informed the Guide to Employee Financial Wellness. One of the participating employers, VRM Mortgage, piloted the assessment tool, and reported results back to the Washington University researchers, along with a group of local corporate and foundation funders interested in how financial capability efforts can be effectively expanded through the workplace.
United Way’s Financial Wellness @ Work initiative helps employers identify financial needs and solutions for their employees, so they can improve employee productivity, retention and advancement. Employers can now utilize the Guide to Employee Financial Wellness to gauge interest and justify investment in financial programs that help employees improve their saving and credit.
Through United Way’s Financial Wellness @ Work program, employers can connect to products such as TrueConnect, an employer-based loan program, On the Road Lending for affordable auto loans, Dallas Community Tax Centers for free tax preparation, and Dollars for College, a best–in–class 529 college savings plan.
Get Involved for Your Workers
United Way is seeking additional companies to join Financial Wellness @ Work, as the program starts its second year this month. The program is particularly interested in engaging with new employers of choice that are committed to providing all their workers with financial solutions and security as a component of job quality, to improve benefits utilization and to improve overall business performance.
Interested employers are invited to attend a Zoom orientation meeting on August 27 to learn more about how they can participate in United Way’s Financial Wellness @ Work.
To register for the meeting, or for more information, contact Greg Mangum, vice president of economic mobility at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
This article was published on: Jul 16, 2020