Responsive Design Enhances Financial Wellness Programs

To improve engagement with financial wellness programs, companies are employing new tools based in behavioral science and powered by responsive technology.

The key to continued success of a financial wellness initiative is its ability to draw employees into the program and encourage them to take ongoing actions, according to the latest in MetLife’s “Financial Wellness: Creating a More Productive and Engaged Workforce” white paper series.

The third whitepaper, “Driving Engagement and Participation,” suggests today’s comprehensive financial wellness platforms have the capability to help guide employees’ decisions on some complicated matters.

Sophisticated data analytics and algorithms can determine whether employees are making transformative behavioral changes toward financial wellness or if they need a helping hand to stay on track,” the white paper states. “The most effective financial wellness programs are personalized and can reach users across various delivery channels.”

According to MetLife, most employees expect easy access to “self-service decision-support tools.”

“For instance, calculators and filtering tools can help employees approximate the amount of additional life insurance that might be needed upon the birth of a second child,” the paper notes. “Platforms may also include libraries of curated content that is continuously updated and pushed to employees based on their preferences and user history, as well as content management systems to promote breaking news and improve financial literacy.”

The research suggests employers consider linking communications with “acknowledge personal milestones or positive behaviors.”

“One example of a trigger communication might be an acknowledgement of a child’s fifth birthday, along with a reminder that it is not too early to begin a college savings fund,” MetLife suggests. “In addition to web-based platforms, regular human interaction through workshops, call centers or personal consultations are also important elements. Employees crave ‘high-touch’ one-on-one guidance to help navigate their finances.”

According to the analysis, a strong majority of employees are receptive to financial education in the workplace, with 84% describing financial wellness programs as offerings they want or need.

“Evergreen content about a company’s benefits can help employees make the connection between the company’s benefits offerings and their own personal financial wellness needs,” the white paper concludes. “Financial wellness providers should be able to provide a comprehensive library of content about student debt repayment, budgeting or life insurance. Topics can be as broad or narrow as required.”

Findings from the first white paper are accessible here; findings from the second are available here.