Data and Research

Financial Wellness Programs Can Carry a Stigma

Resources that help employees manage their finances or plan for their financial futures have wide appeal and great potential for use among those who don’t currently have access, a survey finds.

By Rebecca Moore editors@strategic-i.com | October 09, 2015
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Employees want help with overall financial wellness, but bad vibes could prevent them from participating in employer programs.

Seven in 10 employees surveyed whose company does not currently offer such resources say they would be very or somewhat likely to take advantage of resources to help them plan for their financial future, and three in five (60%) say they’d be very or somewhat likely to use resources that would help them manage their personal finances if they were available.

However, the survey from Jellyvision, a provider of interactive software to help employees with benefits and financial decisions, reveals many employees have negative views of employer financial wellness programs.

“We had a hunch there might be a stigma [associated with these programs],” says Bob Armour, chief marketing officer (CMO) at Jellyvision in Chicago. He tells PLANSPONSOR the stigma comes from the thought that attending financial wellness classes might indicate to others that one is not financially fit.

Justyn Harkin, a benefits communications specialist at Jellyvision who helped field the survey, added that, based on the company’s experience with employee benefits and things employees say are barriers during open enrollment, he had a feeling there would be barriers to participating in financial wellness programs. “We specifically asked about a stigma because we know [employees] don’t like sharing health care needs with coworkers and employers, and we wanted to see if that applied to financial needs.”

NEXT: Stigma, language turn-offs and privacy concerns, oh my.