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We are familiar with the total rewards model. It is a symbolic diagram profiling the key elements of a rewards strategy. Each component is aiming to strike a balance between employee wellness, performance and organizational success.
I view total rewards as something that is integrative and holistic in nature. From this perspective, I am struck by the possibility that our model may be missing the emergence of a new puzzle piece — financial wellness.
As rewards professionals, fixated on the numbers and market positioning of things, are we missing a key strategic element to what we do? Should we be the change stewards to promote opportunities for real education around the financial literacy of our workforce?
I question whether the value of striving to be a market leader in the industry and providing above normal pay is being actualized in reality, especially when disposable income provided to employees diminishes as quickly as it is deposited.
This begs the question: Do our fellow colleagues really know how to effectively manage their pay? For example, take the competitor next door, who pays at median and in turn has a more productive and happier workforce, all because they considered financial planning and access to tools to be a necessary element of the rewards package.
Although I have seen executive level perquisites that include financial planning services — I bet the employees just below your C-suite could benefit from the same resource. The Financial Well-Being Index measures and benchmarks year over year financial health statuses of employed adults and is a metric used by many organizations. Most commonly observed is the direct correlation between financial stress/burden and overall employee well-being and work productivity. Nearly one-in-five working Canadians state that their current financial situation is an influencer of their work productivity.
As rewards professionals, I believe we are in a position and have the opportunity to evolve our rewards model and alleviate some of the financial stress bearing on our employees. What do you think?
About the Author
This article was first published at Compensation Café on April 21, 2021.