Simplifying Your Wellness Strategy
05 November 2020
As simple as the task may seem, scanning the aisles at the grocery store can leave our heads spinning. Case in point: yogurt. The last time I stopped at my local mart to pick up a container of the refreshing treat — per my father’s request — I had to call him and ramble off dozens of flavor options before he finally settled on a different snack entirely. We were both exhausted.
Yogurt is as popular as ever, yet sales slumped last year by as much as 6%. Why? Because there are just too many options to choose from: Yoplait got too clever for its own good.
For every one item on our shopping list, the grocery store gives us 10 more. The lesson is just as true in financial education as it is in the snack aisle — if you don’t keep things clear and simple, people opt out.
The Wellness Factor: Why Simplify
One thing we’ve learned from delivering financial wellness education is that less is often more. Rather than squeeze taxation, estate planning, and investing all into one introductory curriculum, employees are better served by learning a foundational understanding of their own financial situation. This is likely because financial wellness itself is best when simplified.
Incorporating financial education into an employee benefits picture can help individuals cut through the confusion and feel more confident about the financial topics that tend to burden their day-to-day — but only if these efforts are aimed to simplify. That’s what financial well-being is all about: pursuing choices and actions that make the most sense to each individual.
At In Good Company, we deliver effective financial wellness classes taught by experienced professionals. They guide employees through activities that tease out their values and goals. This streamlined content helps employees incorporate well-being into their financial journey and make meaningful decisions along the way.
Let’s take a look at three benefits of a straightforward financial wellness program:
1. Avoiding the Cookie-Cutter
Simplified financial education leaves more room for personalization. By starting with just the basics, it can be helpful to give people the breathing room to focus on what matters most to them.
For example, rather than starting our retirement class with tax implications or even how much retirement may cost, we begin with a visualization activity of what retirement may look like for each employee. That way they have an idea of where they would like to go, rather than being told what their retirement should look like.
2. Enhancing Risk Management
Some financial literacy classes kick off with the ins and outs of Social Security or Medicare. While these topics are top of mind, it’s risky to tackle these complicated subjects before having foundational knowledge.
Knowing what you truly want is the first financial literacy step to reducing risk exposure; it helps people avoid spending hard-earned money on things that don’t align with their goals.
3. Increasing Productivity
Straightforward financial education is also more effective. When financial literacy classes include activities where employees learn about something as basic as their emotional connection to money, guests tend to save for goals at higher rates and feel better about their financial future.1
A Rewarding Approach
Having established why one might take a simplified approach to financial education, let’s take a look at how to deliver a simplified curriculum in the most engaging way.
Here are three steps that have worked for us:
1. Identify Values
People expect to go over charts and numbers when starting their financial literacy journey. But at In Good Company, we have employees begin by identifying their values and discussing how they determined their list. They’re often surprised by what matters most to them under this level of introspection.
2. Articulate Goals
Next, we have guests reflect on their goals as informed by their values. We guide them through activities and conversations to help them make their goals more tangible and achievable.
For example, a guest may discover that her top value is adventure, and she realizes she’d like to save $5,000 for travel. Through goal planning activities, she may learn how to plan for this goal in such a way that it becomes more than a dream.
3. Leverage Pros
Each installment of our Evergreen Series (a series of four introductory workshops) builds on what came before, with the first two workshops helping guests master the basics and the last two going deeper into investing and retirement.
As the series progresses, the complexity of financial topics can quickly snowball — so this is where it helps to have an experienced financial professional gauging guests’ needs. Financial wellness is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so having a human resource available who can tailor teachings appropriately helps to keep attendees from getting overwhelmed.
At In Good Company we believe in financial wellness that works, which means not only educating but empowering people to take action. With all these choices at hand, it’s important for employees to experience wellness while embarking on their financial journey. Whether it’s your first meeting with a financial advisor or just another trip to the grocery store, we hope that a simplistic approach can help you navigate that complicated sea of choices with confidence.
Interested in learning more about wellness workshops that offer financial insight, minus the complex jargon and overwhelming ladder of topics? Get in touch with the In Good Company team.
1Klontz, Bradley T., Faith Zabek, Colby Taylor, Alexander Bivens, Edward Horwitz, Paul T. Klontz, Derek Tharp, and Meghaan Lurtz. 2019. “The Sentimental Savings Study: Using Financial Psychology to Increase Personal Savings.” Journal of Financial Planning 32 (10): 44–55.