It’s not easy to understand the intricacies of finance, and many have lost sleep because of it. The consequences of financial fretting also carry to the workspace, lowering employee productivity. In fact, financially stressed people are 5 times more likely to be distracted at work. If your business has less than 25 employees, this means 75+ hours wasted every week.
As the employer, it’s your job to prioritize your employee’s wellbeing not just for the sake of the business but for their health as well. And while you can’t solve their financial problems directly, you can conduct financial literacy training to help employees solve their own.
But how should you go about implementing one? Here are some tips:
Prioritize topics that employees need help with
Many of your employees’ financial woes come from various sources like healthcare, car insurance, education expenses, and home bills. Take a company-wide survey on the matter; ask employees what they would like to learn about. For instance, if your survey suggests that a lot of them are concerned about the rising college tuition fees, you can introduce them to the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). An RESP is an investment account that allows money to grow tax-free, though it can only be withdrawn for post-secondary education payments. The government even adds up to $500 every year that you make a contribution.
This way, you can help guide them towards wiser financial decisions no matter where their concerns lie.
Cover investment options for retirement
While every good training program should cover the financial literacy basics, like budgeting and credit scoring — you shouldn’t stop there.
One thing a lot of working professionals think about is earning money for retirement, and Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) can definitely help with that. Aside from covering key topics like the benefits and contribution limits, it’s also a good idea to warn them against the dangers of withdrawing your RRSP early. For example, this means losing the power of compounding, making their eventual payouts lower.
For employees who would like more control over where their investments go, you can also teach them about mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
Hire a professional trainer
While a lot of the financial basics, like budgeting, can be taught by anyone, it’s best to hire a professional to conduct the training. Outside Quebec, anyone can claim that they’re a “financial expert,” so it’s important to look for credentials during your search. If you’re covering sensitive topics like insurance and investments, for instance, look for someone with a Certified Financial Planner certificate. Otherwise, a money coach with years of experience should be more than up to the task.
You can even divide your training program into different topics to be discussed on different days. Then, invite the right people to teach each of them.
Financial literacy training is a big investment, but it’s one that’s going to pay off immediately. Start by asking employees what they need, creating a program around the topics that will be the most useful to them, and finally getting someone with the credentials to help.