3 Ways to Help Employees With Their Physical and Financial Wellness

From istockphoto.com
From istockphoto.com

Your workplace wellness campaign may be missing a huge opportunity. And it’s all because of how you define the word “wellness.”

Or rather, how you don’t define it.

Employers use “wellness” in their communication as their go-to term for physical health. There’s nothing wrong with that. But for your employees and their families, a healthy life is about much more than a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).

Good health means not stressing about bills or retirement and having enough money to enjoy the weekends with the kids. Your campaign should address the whole person.

3 tips for employees health and financial wellness

It should promote financial literacy as equal to physical health. That means encouraging employees to contribute to their 401(k), opening a tax-advantaged health savings account (HSA) to pay for eligible medical expenses (if they have a high-deductible plan) and participating in the financial programs that you offer.

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Here are three tips to help you weave together your health and financial messaging.

  1. Paint a wellness picture that is about more than just healthy hearts. Most employees have heard the term wellness and most probably assume it’s related to physical health. Help them see the whole picture. They may not immediately realize how financial health is crucial to maintaining their overall health. Connect the dots for them. Re-brand your wellness campaign so that finance is on par with physical health.
  2. Create profiles and highlight both wellness and financial programs that are important to employees at different life stages. Your young employees may not understand how opening a 401(k) early in their careers will help them earn more compound interest. Your employees closer to retirement may not know that they can make catch-up contributions to their HSA. To make the most of your financial benefits, segment your audience through program-use data. Once you have well-defined groups, you can create employee profiles that provide relevant financial and physical health content. These profiles will help you develop your communication plan as well as execute it.
  3. Communicate throughout the year. You’ll never have enough time (or attention) to weave together the health and financial messages if you only communicate once a year. Build the channels and process to send out shorter messages all year long. It will help your employees and family members remember what is available and take action.

This was originally published on the Benz Communications blog.

Jennifer Benz is Chief Strategist and Founder of Benz Communications, a San Francisco-based consultancy that focuses on custom, comprehensive benefits and HR communications services. Jen is an active member of the Council for Communication Management, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Northern California Human Resources Association and Women in Consulting. Contact her at jen@benzcommunications.com.

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