Employment is no longer a guarantee of financial health. Workers are being forced to take more financial risk than ever over the long term and are looking to their employers for solutions. With wages stagnant since the 1970s, despite rising productivity, and low-wage workers’ wages falling there is widespread and growing income and wealth inequality in America.
While fintech has been leading the charge in developing solutions focused on financial inclusion and the underserved, the fact is even those who have full time jobs with access to benefits and banking are no longer financially healthy. Employers know they need to act, but don’t have sufficient insight and experience to design effective solutions. Research shows that assessment is the vital first step toward understanding the financial vulnerability of a workforce and identifying opportunities to improve employee resilience. Given the proximity to earning, saving, and healthcare, employers are in a key position to affect outcomes.
The pandemic, social justice movement, and economic hardship of 2020 demonstrated the need for companies and organizations to better support the financial needs of their employees. The Financial Health Network, in collaboration with fellow leaders from PayPal, JUST Capital and Good Jobs Institute, recently announced the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative (WFWI) to call on CEOs to engage in their workforce’s financial health and focus on measurement as a key performance indicator (KPI) of success. Assessment is the vital first step toward understanding the financial vulnerability of a workforce and identifying opportunities to improve employee resilience.
In support of the notion that bold moves are required to shift toward a future defined by stakeholder capitalism, impact leaders of all stripes must realize that the financial wellness of employees is a tangible action companies can take to build a more inclusive and equitable economy. In this unprecedented moment, workers, customers, communities, and investors are calling on corporate America to drive change, but it continues to be challenging to assess how companies are taking concrete action to advance living wages, benefits and equitable compensation and the impacts this has on employee financial health.
The truth is: what gets measured, gets managed. Companies spend millions on employee benefits, and many have no idea whether they generate financial health impact. If employees are such a critical input, companies need to know as much about them and their lives as they do their customers. To do this, leaders need data that tell the full story of their workers’ financial health. In the following panel, representatives from the Financial Health Network, Good Jobs, Paypal and JUST Capital will discuss the approaches, processes and best practices to integrate effective measurement tactics and methodologies into an organization’s culture and ethos. And, ultimately, why investing in workers leads to improved business outcomes for everyone.