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How Does Financial Education Improve Your Workplace?

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Around the globe, employers are recognizing the benefits of improving the financial wellness of their employees.

When six out of ten American employees are living paycheck to paycheck, financial literacy is more important than ever. Increasingly, companies around the globe are moving to include financial education in their benefit offerings — and for good reason.

Benefits of financial literacy

Employees increasingly demand financial education, including financial coaching, emergency savings help, and financial planning — alongside traditional benefits like a 401k retirement savings plan. In fact, a recent study found that 92 percent of Millennials wanted to increase their financial management skills. That education improves their holistic wellbeing.

“Financial literacy is about being able to make a proactive decision about whatever’s going on in your life—and being able to do so confidently,” notes Jeremy Beament, co-founder and director of nudge, a global financial education company. “Financial education and wellness programs are critical for employees because they help them achieve their dreams and goals,” explains Beament. “Having children, getting married, getting on the housing ladder — all the things that touch our lives.”

That makes financial education a compelling benefit in a competitive job market where employees hold more power than ever.

Employer benefits

But it’s not just employees who benefit from financial education. Employers are realizing that these programs benefit them as well. Improving employee financial literacy results in improved productivity and less absenteeism, and leads to more effective recruitment and retention. These programs also reduce financial anxiety and stress, which in turn lowers overall healthcare costs.

Another crucial aspect of financial education is how it helps employees appreciate their other benefits. “If you’re offering a financial wellness platform like what nudge offers as an underpin to everything else you’re doing,” says Beament, “then people will be able to make better and more active decisions about their stock plan, about their retirement funds, about their healthcare benefits and deductibles, and their other compensation.”

This is a new — and permanent — paradigm that companies should take seriously. “Wellness used to be a nice cuddly benefit,” Beament says. “Now it’s being seen as something incredibly important.”

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