With effective vaccines available and the job market heating back up, employers face stiff competition when hiring and retaining employees. Workplace financial wellness programs are an increasingly popular offering that helps employers stand out. Below, we’ll look at three steps these programs can take to create a leading workplace financial wellness user experience.

Financial wellness is not a strong point for most Americans. A survey from March 2020 found that only 49% of U.S. employees rated their financial wellness as good or excellent—an alarmingly low number recorded before the pandemic. COVID-19 presumably further strained the average worker’s financial wellness. Financial stress reduces worker productivity, increases absenteeism and undermines the health of the workforce. More and more employers are looking for programs and benefits to boost their employees’ financial wellness. This in turn creates an opportunity for the firms that partner with employers to offer financial wellness education programs, HSAs and equity compensation plans.

As with any consumer-facing service, the workplace finance user experience must match the intuitive design and ease-of-use that people now expect from any digital experience. Consumers expect every digital platform to meet the standards set by Apple, Google and Netflix. Providers—from established record keepers looking to expand their existing financial wellness offerings to new entrants hoping to gain a foothold—that match users’ expectations will become the leaders in this expanding and competitive field.

Here are three must haves for any top financial wellness user experience from Corporate Insight’s retirement and workplace finance team:

1. Firms should offer financial wellness content that is engaging, easy to find and easy to use

Engagement is the key to any good user experience, and useful content—be it videos, articles, or tools—keeps users coming back for more. But findability and intuitiveness are also essential. Employees can only benefit from financial wellness content when they know where and how to find it.

To best serve employees, providers should:

  • House financial wellness content in a centralized location
  • Make content both mobile- and desktop-friendly
  • Provide two paths for exploring the content—one for users who prefer to be guided and one for users who prefer to browse
  • Avoid jargon, incorporate help content when necessary, and highlight content relevant to a user’s financial needs

Enrich, for example, does well with findability and help options. A topics flyout in the main navigation offers both popular topics for users who prefer to explore at their own pace as well as guided options for less independent users. The firm also offers expandable definitions of unfamiliar terms throughout the site, a user-friendly help tool that educates readers without directing them away from the page. Firms do well when they make content as user-friendly as possible.

Enrich offers a single library housing all its financial wellness content for a better financial wellness digital user experience
Enrich Topics Flyout Tab

2. Firms should employ financial wellness assessments to help users quantify and track their financial well-being

Financial wellness assessments are a must-have for any top financial wellness user experience, serving as a roadmap for improving financial wellness. Users should walk away knowing their financial strengths and areas for improvement. Assessments—which can be in the form of a quiz, a meter, a numerical score, or a combination of all three—are best when they provide a personalized curriculum and a wellness score to measure progress. Language that reflects the personal nature of finance can also promote user engagement and lead to more accurate results. Peer benchmarking (e.g., “75% of people rate their financial stress as high”) can also help users evaluate their financial health, either by serving as a wake-up call or as reassurance that others face similar challenges. Firms should also save these assessments so that users can revisit them and track their progress as they improve their financial wellness.

One firm that does well in this area: Financial Fitness Group. The firm offers its users a Financial Fitness Score, using both a numerical score and a color-coded stress meter to help employees understand their financial stress levels. The tool further breaks down the score into sub-scores evaluating financial confidence, behavior and aptitude.

Financial Fitness' Financial Fitness Score is an example of a tool that creates a better workplace finance digital user experience
Financial Fitness Group Financial Fitness Score Results

3. Platforms should allow for account aggregation and benefit integration

One (so far) uncommon that firms can offer for a standout financial wellness user experience: account aggregation and benefit integration. Firms create a better user experience when they incorporate information about a user’s accounts and an employer’s offerings within education material—for example, by presenting information about the company’s 401(k) plan within materials about general retirement planning. Platforms also stand out when they offer links to the various benefit portals themselves, such as the employer’s 401(k) portal or HSA option. Platforms can go one step further and allow users to connect their various financial accounts to better evaluate their financial wellness and provide resources for areas that need improvement. An ideal financial wellness user experience allows the employee to evaluate their financial wellness on, and then take steps directly from, the platform to remedy any shortcomings.

More from Workplace Finance Monitor

Click here to view a preview of Workplace Finance Monitor researchThese are just three insights gathered by Corporate Insight’s Workplace Finance team, which tracks the digital experience in the workplace retirement and benefits sphere. Our researchers use live accounts to track the end-user digital experience across desktop and mobile platforms, evaluate industry news and emerging trends, and identify best practices across the industry. Download a research preview for more examples, screenshots and best practices from Workplace Finance Monitor.

 

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