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Industry Insights

Filling the Gap in Employee Financial Wellness Programs

Employee Financial Wellness Programs

With mounting research pointing employers down the path of holistic wellness, employee financial wellness programs are starting to take flight. 

The Society of Human Resource Management found that half of the Human Resources professionals they surveyed believed personal finance concerns resulted in employee stress. And nearly as many (47%) said there was a corresponding inability for employees to focus at work.  

In recent years, financial wellness programs have taken aim at this major point of stress. With diverse financial resources gaining traction in employee benefits offerings, employers hope to keep employees focused on their work — rather than spend their time consumed with personal finance concerns.

But is it enough?

While programs that focus on financial wellness are becoming a staple in employer offerings, they haven’t thwarted every financial tie-up just yet.

Even with widespread adoption of financial wellness programs, employees are still spending a considerable amount of time dealing with financial matters at work.

According to PWC’s 2016  Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 46 percent of workers still spend three or more working hours a week dealing with financial issues. This should be a clear call to action for employers — truly comprehensive financial wellness programs are still a few steps outside the box.

Align Benefits Offerings to Meet Business Goals

Your goals should pave the way for your financial wellness program. If improved productivity is on your agenda, it’s vital you seek complimentary offerings to your program for added impact.

While effective in deterring day-to-day financial distractions, standard employee financial wellness programs don’t acknowledge two major productivity killers — identity theft and fraud.

Identity theft and fraud send employees into stress-overload. Time often works against them as they attempt to resolve these unexpected matters; which in turn, can completely derail other projects.

To circumvent such issues, employers must realign their offerings to reinforce their financial wellness goals — especially those issues most top-of-mind for employees.

Tackling the Real Productivity Risk: Identity Crimes

In 2016, there were 15.4 million identity crime victims in the U.S. That’s a new victim every second.

It’s probable a few such victims are among your current employee base.  On average, employees dedicate 24 hours to resolve identity theft. The bulk of time is spent during work hours — when banks, credit bureaus and law enforcement officials are available to assist victims. This means identity theft could be quietly taking a considerable bite out of your office productivity.

Unfortunately, the clock doesn’t stop once the case is resolved. The financial and emotional effects of identity theft linger far longer.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, two-thirds of identity theft victims reported a direct financial loss. On average, victims incurred $1,436 in out-of-pocket expenses. Costs vary dramatically based on the type of identity theft committed. Medical identity theft victims (those whose identity was assumed so a perpetrator could obtain medical care or prescription drugs in their name) pay the most out-of-pocket — incurring $13,450 on average.

The intimate nature of these crimes leave victims helpless, confused and fearful. They’re not sure what has become of their exposed identity. Many wonder if their data will ever be re-used by their mystery imposter.

What’s more? Identity theft is only projected to grow. With the digitalization of our day-to-day lives —personal and financial information is more vulnerable than ever.

As you develop your employee financial wellness programs, consider helping employees protect their identity as well. (Not surprisingly, 70 percent of employers are projected to offer identity protection by 2018.) These programs compliment financial wellness programs by helping employees protect against identity theft and fraud — mitigating their risk of financial loss, emotional stress and the major time commitment these threats pose. This ultimately keeps employees happy, empowered and most importantly — productive while on the job.

Your Team Deserves Complete Financial Wellness

EZShield Identity Crime Protection can help close the gap in employee financial wellness programs. Our proven identity protection programs secure, monitor and restore employees’ identities. Each program includes online and mobile access, dedicated care and robust data security tools.

Employees appreciate knowing they’re protected against the unexpected. And employers get that added push towards their business goals with low-cost, high-value benefits offerings.

The final result? A complete employee financial wellness program everyone can appreciate.

For more information on EZShield Identity Crime Protection, schedule a demo today.

About Angela Murphy

Angela Murphy is the Chief Operating Officer at Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. She has over 20 years of experience in Operations, Client Management and Human Resources and is responsible for all aspects of business operations, including Customer Support and Client Services, Human Resources, Administration and Risk Management.

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