10 Reasons Why MSA Financial Wellness Works

a happy business woman sitting at a table in an office, typing on a laptop, with a happy business man sitting on either side of her and looking at her screen

Employees are shying away from wellness programs in the workplace, according to Employee Benefits News.  Before you start experiencing the negative side effects of a disengaged workforce, consider the My Secure Advantage™ (MSA) Financial Wellness program.  MSA combats the reasons pushing employees away and focuses on meeting the needs of both employers and employees.

Reason #1:  Replace Stress with Success

Many employees feel overwhelmed by their job, leading to increased health problems and healthcare costs.  While the workplace might provide wellness programs to improve well-being, studies show that employees are too distracted by anxiety and pressures within the workplace to take advantage of the opportunity.

Wellness programs generally speak to health issues; however, a more holistic and successful approach to employee well-being should consider the connection between health and finances.  According to the American Psychological Association, finances have been the number one stressor for almost a decade, and stress deteriorates overall health.

Employers agree that issues with finances and health are linked.  Almost a third of employers believe that financial challenges impact their employees’ morale and physical health.1  Employers also notice that their employees drop insurance benefits (15%), borrow money (13%), and take out loans or withdrawals from their retirement plans because of higher healthcare costs.2

Shifting wellness programs to incorporate such a key influencer as finances can make all the difference in decreasing employees’ anxiety and improving employees’ well-being, thereby increasing their level of engagement in corporate wellness programs.

Here at MSA, we understand the toll financial stress takes on an employee’s life.  It affects the employee’s health, productivity, relationships, and more.  That’s why our main goal is to eradicate financial stress in America, one employee at a time.

Employees often see a 60% improvement in their financial well-being when they engage in the MSA Financial Wellness program and work with a Money Coach.

Reason #2:  The Employer-Employee Relationship

Employee engagement heavily relies on the relationship between an employer and employee, but most employees feel like managers don’t understand their needs; thus, wellness programs may appear as irrelevant to employees.

Reassessing what the workforce actually wants is definitely worth an employer’s time: 65% of employees agree (and 44% strongly agree) that their loyalty to their employer would increase if they had benefits tailored to meet their needs.3

So… what do they need from a wellness program?  Financial help.

Half of the employees (49%) dealing with financial stress believe that employers are responsible for employees’ financial wellness, and they want their employers to help them achieve financial stability through benefits,4 yet nearly half of employees say their employer doesn’t offer a financial wellness program.5

An employer who understands and acts on the fact that employees want a financial wellness program will see improved engagement.  Over half of employees (59%) say they would likely take part in a financial wellness benefit if their employer made it available.6

That’s the beauty of the MSA Financial Wellness program: it’s a relevant, desirable solution for the employees’ overall well-being and for the employer’s utilization and engagement goals.

Reason #3:  A Program that Actually Helps

Another main reason why employees don’t get involved in their wellness programs, according to EBN, is because the program provides a less-than-successful blanket solution to employees who have unique issues.

The fact of the matter is that your workforce is made up of people in all different life stages, and each life stage has its own challenges.  A young Millennial may be thinking about how to pay off student loans and save up for a new car, while a Gen Xer is thinking about paying for the kids’ tuition and meeting the mortgage; whereas, Baby Boomers are looking at their 401(k)s, wondering if they have enough money to retire.  And that’s just the financial side.

With MSA, employees get to work with a personal Money Coach who looks at their particular stage in life.  They determine goals based on the employee’s preferences and build an action plan tailored to the employee’s ability and financial situation.

Money coaches then point employees toward other benefit offerings that will enhance the employee’s journey; for example, if a coach starts working with a Gen Y employee who wants to start a family, the coach would not only focus on building a spending plan around new family expenses but also look at what that means for insurance updates and healthcare plans that are family oriented.

Reason #4:  Make It Fun

It’s harder to engage in a program that isn’t fun.  That’s why MSA is ever evolving – working hard to provide relevant and interesting content.  One employee had this to say about her experience with MSA:

“I am attempting to get my finances under control, so I can live with less stress and anxiety.  [My Money Coach] is helping me find the joy in tracking my habits, developing self-awareness… retirement planning… and having fun doing it.  The bottom line is that this service [MSA] is every bit equal in benefit and importance to the health benefit my employer offers.”

Financial problems are so often ignored because they’re hard to face; that’s why money coaches maintain an encouraging atmosphere, and they celebrate employees’ improvements every step of the way.

Reason #5:  Accountability

Nobody wants to go it alone.  Support is an incredibly important factor for successful engagement in workplace programs, which is why MSA isn’t just a self-help program.  Employees have a whole team of money coaches ready to provide positive accountability and trustworthy guidance.  Employees agree.  Take a look at what employees are saying about engaging in the MSA program and working one-on-one with a Money Coach:

“I like the accountability and encouragement I receive from my coach.  In addition to guiding me financially, he encourages me to budget my time in order to have better health and stamina.  My self-confidence has grown significantly this past year.”

“[My Money Coach] takes into account the myriad of issues affecting finances, from a holistic point of view.  My health, both physical and mental, is better, and it is not a surprise that this has gone along with my financial wellness.  She has given much-needed encouragement and held me accountable.”

Reason #6:  Wellness Their Way

Employees want wellness programs, but they don’t want to be forced to use them.  For better engagement in work initiatives and benefit offerings, give employees freedom to choose their own path via programs with multiple entry points.

MSA is an employer-sponsored program that an employee can start at any time within the contract year via one-on-one money coaching, financial articles, webinars and more.

MSA doesn’t have a sales pitch or hidden agenda.  There is no “buy this software to fix your finances” gimmick; rather, MSA immediately empowers employees with access to the tools and resources they need to be successful.

Reason #7:  Technology is a Must

93% of employers are either somewhat likely or very likely to incorporate online tools, mobile apps, and other new features to help employees better understand their finances.7  With My Secure Advantage, those desired resources are already built into the program.

MSA enhances the customer experience with an interactive website and personal financial management software.  One of the most exciting new features is Wallet, an online money management tool that allows employees to see all of their accounts and financial activity in one place.  Employees can monitor investments, bills, cash flow and more.  With built-in goals and reminders, employees can keep track of how much they’re putting toward healthcare, how much they’re saving for retirement, and better manage debt.

With 24/7 monitoring, Wallet does the heavy lifting, so employees can focus on more important things like quality time with the family and being more productive at work.

Reason #8:  Confidentiality is Key

Employees may want to improve their health and wellness, but the idea of sharing their personal information can keep them from stepping forward.  Talking about money problems to improve financial wellness is a particularly daunting task.  That’s why MSA keeps employees’ personal information confidential, and money coaches maintain a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere.

MSA knows that employers like to see measurements for their benefit offerings, yet employees prefer privacy when it comes to sharing about their financial journey.  Because MSA only provides aggregate data to the employer, employees don’t have to worry about their employer knowing their personal financial details.

MSA takes privacy one step further by providing top-of-the-line identity theft protection services, so employees know that their information is secure.  Employees can take advantage of 24/7 high-risk transaction monitoring, alert detection systems and more.

Reason #9:  Replacing Hassle with Efficiency

When employees don’t see immediate results, they tend to step back from their wellness programs.  However, when employees start working with a Money Coach, they feel productive and see results immediately.  One employee said the following:

“My Money Coach listened to me and even considered my options, but also provided me with 3 or 4 more.  Having so many options made my problem feel manageable, which was a huge stress reliever.  I was able to implement her recommendations right away…. I know that I am in a better position since I’ve used the service.  I continue to tell everyone what a great service MSA provides.  I was also happy to know that my company provided this service for me…not many can say they have a ‘money coach’.”

And, as always, MSA is constantly improving: adding more education classes to respond to employees’ inquiries, looking for ways to make the program run even more smoothly and efficiently for members, and more.

Reason #10:  Build Community

Workplace initiatives that focus on building community can boost engagement as well.  Even though employees want to maintain a sense of privacy, when it comes to wellness, they also thrive with the attitude of “we’re all in this together.”

MSA provides on-site classes where employees can do just that: come together to learn and grow.  Employees can also take part in topic-specific workshops for more hands-on engagement.

Incorporating a financial wellness program like MSA not only gives employees a chance to come together and learn as a community but to improve the sense of community itself.  Nearly 1 in 5 employees say stress negatively influences the way they interact with coworkers.8  Consequently, as employees improve their number one stressor (finances), their social interactions will improve as well, leading to a more positive and healthy community in the workplace.

Offer Your Employees a Wellness Program That Works

Studies have found that implementing the right wellness program can be a cost-effective solution.  Companies see a cost reduction of $3.27 in health care costs and $2.73 in absenteeism costs for every dollar spent on a wellness program with features like a risk assessment survey, self-help education, one-on-one counseling with a professional, group activities with a trained professional, and incentives.9

And that’s not all.  According to recent research, financial wellness programs can provide an ROI of 3:1 per employee.10

The My Secure Advantage (MSA) Financial Wellness program provides a personal financial wellness survey that employees can use to track their improvement as they engage in the program.  Moreover, employees get easy access to self-help financial calculators, videos and articles, and they can receive one-on-one financial coaching from money coaches who are financial professionals with multiple certifications and designations (e.g. Certified Financial Planner™ Professional, Life and Work Coach, etc.).  They can also attend monthly webinars, get rewards for engaging in the program and more.

Many employers are already on board and seeing a difference amidst their workforce:

  • 87% of employers offering financial wellness benefits think the benefit is “…important to their entire benefits program.”6
  • 78% of employers are already incorporating financial wellness into their well-being programs.11
  • Over half of employers (53%) saw an improvement in overall well-being due to their financial wellness programs.6

Talk to one of our MSA Customer Success Managers about how you can boost engagement and improve your employees’ well-being, both financially and overall.  Call 888-724-2326 today.

 

1Mrkvicha, Neil.  et al.  Financial Education for Today’s Workforce: 2016 Survey Results.  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 2016.  Web.  6 May 2016.  PDF.

2“By the Numb3rs.”  EBN, Nov. 2015: 42.  Print.

3“Benefits Breakthrough.”  12th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study.  New York: Metlife, 2014.  Web.  17 Apr. 2014.  PDF.

4Benefits Impact: Delivering Dynamic Benefits for a Loyal WorkforceMetLife, 2015.  Web.  12 May 2015.  PDF.

5Potter, Adam.  “4 Reasons Employers Should Offer Financial Wellness Programs.”  benefitsnews.com.  EBN, 4 Feb. 2016.  Web.  8 Feb. 2016.

6Paycheck Direct, SourceMedia Research and Employee Benefits News.  Promoting Financial Wellness in the Workplace.  N.p.  2013.  Web.  15 Oct. 2013.  PDF.

7“Aon Hewitt Survey Shows Employers are Offering More Tools and Resources to Improve Financial Outcomes for Workers.”  ir.aon.com.  Lincolnshire, IL: PRNewswire, 14 Jan. 2015.  Web.  5 Jan. 2016.

8Stress in America™: Paying With Our Health.  APA, 4 Feb. 2015.  Web.  16 Feb. 2015.  PDF.

9Katherine Baicker, David Cutler and Zirui Song.  Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings.  Health Affairs, 29, no.2 (2010): 304-311 (published online January 14, 2010; 10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0626)

10Financial Wellness Landscape Analysis: An Overview of the Need for Workplace-Based Financial Wellness Programs.  ING Employee Benefits, 2013.  PDF.

11Moore, Rebecca.  “More Employers Using Holistic Wellness Programs.”  plansponsor.com.  PLANSPONSOR, 1 Jun. 2015.  Web.  21 Oct. 2015.