Create A Culture Of Financial Wellness

Small Business Canada

Over the last 15 years, Kevin has been one of the most sought-after speakers on the necessity of financial wellness programs for HR leaders. Having been featured on radio and television programs (including CBC’s Dragon Den) across the country, Kevin has spoken to well over 100,000 people including professionals, students, schools, communities, and corporations on the importance of financial wellness and how HR leaders can support their staff.

How has your career developed over the past 15 years as one of the most in-demand speakers on the necessity of financial wellness programs for HR leaders, and as a national radio and television personality?

Fifteen years ago, organizations and people did not understand the importance of wellness for their staff. Today, more and more organizations are offering mental health and wellness programs. However, one topic that continues to be overlooked is Financial Stress. When we speak to leaders, they are often surprised to hear that financial stress is one of the leading causes of workplace distraction, staff turnover, and mental health issues. 

Organizations of all sizes are starting to realize that a well-designed financial wellness program can improve staff well-being and add more money to the organization’s bottom line. 

Since municipalities offer mental health and wellness programs for their employees, but financial stress continues to affect all employees, and their families, what do you believe are the most effective methods for addressing this issue?

An effective solution is to ensure your wellness program has a comprehensive financial wellness component. You can analyze a financial wellness program using these three factors.

1.Content Entertainment. Is the content entertaining and engaging? 

2. Age and Stage Resources. Are there resources available for your staff’s different financial and life situations? 

3. Content Delivery. Are there various ways that the resources are delivered to meet people’s learning styles?

How effective is Enriched Academy at assisting thousands of Canadians in enhancing their financial wellness, being Canada’s leader in financial health?

The average EAP (Employee Assistance Plan) is between 4%-11%. Enriched Academy works to engage over 50% of staff in their Employee Financial Wellness Program. 

We define effectiveness in several ways: program utilization, ROI, cost containment, measurable employee results, satisfaction scores, and knowledge level increases. We have a team of client success experts that work with organizations to implement proven processes that increase engagement. Whether it is launch and rollout processes, live events or one-on-one coaching. Our team strives for exceptional usage rates that deliver meaningful results for organizations. 

What are the primary causes of financial stress among employees and the obstacles to implementing a successful financial wellness program? How can we overcome these obstacles?

The top financial challenges Canadians are currently facing are:

  1. Increasing inflation and cost of living. 
  2. Interest rate increase. The monthly payment for a new mortgage on a typical home in Canada increased by nearly $800 a month between October and April. 
  3. Dealing with high levels of debt. 
  4. Uncertainty with their retirement plans. 

Canadians lack the knowledge and awareness on how to manage their finances because it is something they never formally learn. 

The obstacle we have repeatedly been hearing from organizations is that they want to provide resources to help their staff. Still, they do not have the resources, expertise, or time to run a successful financial wellness program.  An organization must create or curate up-to-date and trustworthy financial information to run a successful program. The next step is to get staff engaged in the content. To wrap it up, organizations must have clear metrics on usage rates and strategies to keep increasing staff engagement. 

What negative effects does financial stress have on workers? And how does it affect the bottom line of a business?

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada recently did a study highlighting financial stress as the leading cause of stress for Canadians, more than work, personal health, and relationships. In their research, they found:

  • 48% of Canadians say they’ve lost sleep because of financial worries. 
  • If you are dealing with financial stress, you are twice as likely to report the poor overall health
  • Almost half of working Canadians admit that stress related to personal finances has had an impact on their performance at work.

The two most significant impacts financial stress has on a business’s bottom line are distracted staff and staff turnover. The Canadian Payroll Association calculates that financial stress deducts nearly $16 billion yearly in lost productivity from the Canadian economy. Another study of 14,000 employees from FinFit found that organizations that provide financial wellness programs save $1,855 each year in turnover cost-savings per employee. 

What specific recommendations do you have for employers that will assist them in promoting the financial wellness of their employees?

Organizations that create a culture of financial wellness see major improvements in their staff’s well-being. Running a lunch and learn or a webinar will not have a lasting impact on staff and their families. It’s like a firework that has a big bang at first but slowly fizzles off. Organizations and leaders need to commit to acting with purpose in creating a long-term and effective wellness initiative. Realizing financial health is a significant pillar of mental health should help leaders prioritize it because it is too important to neglect. 

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