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Introduction to Financial Wellness

Helping employees get the most from what they have now, while saving enough for the future

Our latest research indicates that financial stress takes a toll on workers worldwide and that financially stressed employees may be less likely to be physically or mentally present at work, with clear implications for productivity.

The potential impact of stressed workers on productivity

If not addressed, financial stresses top the list of factors that may impact workplace productivity and worker well-being

Question: You identified the following as causing you stress. How much do you agree or disagree that each of these have impacted your ability to concentrate at work?
Source: The Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey 2023.

To decrease the impact of financial stress in the workplace, Fidelity encourages all employers to consider the benefits of deeply understanding the financial state of their employees and supplying the solutions they need to build financial confidence.

As the needs of employees evolve so must the benefits offered by employers, which may encourage employers to consider new ways to support employee engagement.

Our research has found that companies who take more responsibility for the financial well-being of their workforce fare better themselves with higher employee satisfaction.

Supporting employee financial wellness is also beneficial to employers

Question: On average, how satisfied are employees working at your firm?
Question: To what degree does your company feel responsible for taking steps to support employees’ financial wellness?
Source: The Fidelity Global Employer Survey 2023.

What does financial wellness mean?

Fidelity believes that Financial Wellness is holistic and multifaceted: objectively, it is an individual’s total financial situation; subjectively, it is how the person feels about their financial situation.

We’ve identified four common domains of Financial Wellness, wherever your employees are located across the globe:

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Spending within one’s means is the foundation upon which financial wellness is built. Maintaining a budget and a positive cash flow are necessary (though not sufficient) precursors to managing debt, saving for the future, investing and protecting against risk.

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To achieve financial wellness beyond the here-and-now, individuals must take control of their debt and save and invest for the future. This includes long-term savings and investing (saving for retirement, for example) but also saving for short-term goals such as home repairs or holidays.

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High levels of debt, and monthly debt repayment obligations, relative to income can present a considerable barrier to savings. All else equal, higher interest borrowing is of greatest concern. Prudent use of credit may be a good way to build a positive credit profile and thereby improve access to credit and potentially lower future borrowing rates.

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Financial wellness requires not only managing, accumulating, and investing money appropriately but also insuring against potential losses, be that a temporary or permanent financial loss or a loss of financial control. Without adequate emergency savings and/or financial protection against catastrophic health events, disability or property loss, one’s financial situation can very quickly move from comfortable to distressed.

Aligning on Financial Wellness

Employers may also benefit from expanding their definition of financial wellness to mirror their workplace culture.

Defining Financial Wellness

Watch our video to see the positive impact of broadening your definition of financial wellness on talent attraction.

Watch time: 1 minute

To better support their workforce, employers may consider reviewing and expanding their definition of financial wellness to incorporate both quantitative (i.e. how much does a worker have or save) and qualitative (i.e. how does a worker feel about their financial situation) elements.

Equally important, employers may consider aligning how they define financial wellness to support their employees.

As outlined in the chart below, some attributes of financial wellness may be descriptive of how someone is feeling about their financial situation.

Financial wellness areas where there is an opportunity to align with employees

Question to Employers: In your company’s view, what does it mean for employees to be “financially well”?
Question to Employees: In your view, what does it mean for you to be “financially well”?
Source: The Fidelity Global Employer Survey 2023 (1,000 respondents) and The Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey 2023 (26,000 respondents).

Helping your people feel good about their money

At Fidelity, we want you to feel good about the future of your workforce, and give you tools to help your employees feel confident about their finances.

Experience how we bring financial wellness to life with a personalised tool that captures the objective/subjective picture of financial wellness.

Ready to chat?

From proprietary research to relevant insights and products, to ongoing support to exciting ways to engage your employees, you’ll benefit from all of this and more with us.

To learn more about how you can use financial wellness in your workplace, reach out to your Fidelity representative or email Fidelity Workplace Consulting.

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