Enabling Employees to Gain Financial Wellness

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Now, more than ever, companies are doing everything possible to provide an ideal work environment that attracts new talent and retains good ones. CEO of Verztec Consulting, Nicholas Goh shares his experiences and a tip sheet on the importance on educating, empowering and enabling employees to gain financial wellness – as well as achieving this year’s corporate financial goals.

Now, more than ever, companies are doing everything possible to provide an ideal work environment that attracts new talent and retains good ones. But employers have noticed a new factor that hugely affects employee happiness and productivity – financial stress.

CEO of Verztec Consulting, Nicholas Goh shares his insights and experiences on the importance on educating, empowering and enabling employees to gain financial wellness – as well as achieving this year’s corporate financial goals.

It’s a new year. A new balance sheet. A new set of KPIs for teams to achieve in 2018. Business leaders and employees alike are full of optimism and new resolutions to reach their targets, and live healthy, work healthy, and save healthy. A hive of positivity and enthusiasm. Really? Then why is at least one in two employees unhappy at work? According to the JobsCentral Work Happiness Survey Report 2017, Singapore scored an average Overall Work Happiness Indicator Score of 46.8%, a record low since the survey began in 2009.

As Founder and CEO of a leading Full-Service Globalization Company, Nicholas Goh has close to two decades of experience in managing employee expectations and corporate bottom lines.

Since the inception of Verztec in 2000, Nicholas has been practicing the simple philosophy of ‘happy employees lead to happier results’, and has a few insights to share. Money is the main motivator, followed by work-life balance, acceptable work demands, and a pleasant working environment. As leaders, it is crucial to provide all of this and more in order to help employees meet targets. Gone are the days when KPIs were purely numbers driven.

Today, KPIs that actually garner results are personal financial wellness targets in the league of ‘buy a house by the end of 2018’ or ‘have a personal bank balance savings of $50,000 by end 2018’.

Financial stress a distraction

Employee absenteeism and productivity loss are linked to financial stress at the workplace. According to PWC’s 2017 survey of financial wellness programs, nearly one-third of all employees is distracted by personal financial issues while at work.

Financial stress takes a toll on every aspect of an employee’s life, including their efficiency levels, waistlines, relationships and sleep. Worrying about paying bills and saving for the future is the number one cause of stress at home and the workplace. This is the hard reality of most employees’ lives.

Apart from direct monetary and tangible rewards such as pay raises and performance-based rewards being implements, what can be done? Curtain call for Employee Financial Wellness program implementation strategies.

Most employees feel extremely motivated when their personal finances are stable or growing. Whilst the struggling companies focus on organization profitability, the more future-proof companies focus on a 360-degree wellness of employees.

And yes, this includes the personal financial wellness of their employees. Ask Dan Price, CEO/entrepreneur of Gravity Payments in Seattle. On 13 April 2017, he made a dramatic announcement to his 120-member firm:

Over the next three years, he will phase in a minimum wage of USD70,000 at Gravity and immediately cut his own salary from USD1.1 million to USD70,000 to help fund it. The company’s bottom line grew by a whopping 170% within one year. And guess what—his eternally grateful employees bought him a brand new car as a token of appreciation!

Case-in-point that focusing on employee personal financial success has massive business returns. It’s not just a ‘do-good’ CSR program. It needs genuine commitment and empathy. To really inculcate a culture which emphasizes on employee financial gain, every leader must really need to ‘know’ their employees.

Follow a 3B formula

Nicholas Goh has a 3B formula that he likes to follow:-

Step 1: Break Ice
Personal financial wellness as the name suggests is highly personal. It is not something that people are comfortable talking about. A friendly lunch with members of the team is a good chance to open up about one’s own personal financial wellbeing. Multiple casual conversations where personal goals and dreams are touched on, trials and errors talked about and a solid platform of honesty and trust is established over a course of time. Eventually, this will lead to team members opening up about their financial challenges and goals.

Step 2: Bond
Once the ice is broken, it is time to bond with employees over this particular subject. As team leader, this is where the introduction of soft KPIs comes in, by helping them set personal financial goals. This is the chance to truly bond with employees so that they believe you are not just another ‘manager’ but ‘an enabler’ and a trusted mentor.

Step 3: Believe
Believe in a team’s performance, and watch their confidence and efficiency levels rise. Company profits will improve along with morale, motivation and their personal financial wellness.

From stressed-out manager to inspirational, result-driven leader in a matter on 3 simple steps based on personal insight, industry information and inherent intuition.

Across all three phases, team leaders have unlimited access to real-time HR digital processes in order to track employee progress. For example, timely reminders will ensure ample ‘check in’ sessions with each member of the team.

Just imagine an entire team focusing on how to achieve profitable KPIs, instead of stressing about their retirement plans, their bills or college funds.

About the AUTHOR

Nicholas Goh is the Founder and CEO of Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd, a leading Full-Service Globalization Company. Verztec assists companies around the world to design, develop, localize and publish their global communication messages and training into over 100 languages.

For more information, please visit http://www.verztec.com and http://www.verzteclearning.com

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Nicholas Goh
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