- Posted by Debbie Gerlicher
- On May 26, 2015
- 0 Comments
- corporate program, education, financial illiteracy, financial solutions, financial wellness, First Financial Security Inc., National Financial Educators Council, NFEC
LiSA Initiative Launches Pilot Program to Teach Financial Wellness in the Workplace
We have all read about the dangerous effects of stress. Because of the serious impact stress can have on our health, which can increase health costs, employee absenteeism, and decrease productivity, corporations across America have begun introducing wellness programs that address these very issues.
Some companies offer “mind-body” programs that can include yoga and meditation, touting tremendous success in improving corporate productivity, unity and overall health.1 Others, more focused on physical health, offer wellness programs that include exercise coaching and nutrition counseling.
While we can all applaud the efforts corporate America is making to reduce stress in the workplace, perhaps we should be asking: is anyone really well when his or her personal finances are not well? Will yoga, meditation and good nutrition help relieve stress when an employee’s stress levels are through the roof because he or she is facing serious financial difficulties at home?
Financial wellness programs are essential to corporate health. After all, what areas of our lives do our finances not affect? We know from experience that our financial problems affect our health, our mental and psychological state, our relationships, our ability to sleep at night, even our ability to concentrate at work; financial problems at home don’t stay at home.
Since the Great Recession of 2008, “70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.”2 That is regardless of income, race, gender, socio-economic status or degree of education. The results of lack of financial wellness know no bounds.
In 2010, the American Psychological Association published a survey entitled “Stress in America” in which 76% of those surveyed admit that their money problems are causing them stress and that money, work and the economy “remain the most oft-cited sources of stress for Americans.”3
In light of all of this, we here at First Financial Security, Inc. and LiSA do not want to be known as the ones who brought financial literacy to people and organizations across America while we neglected our own personal financial needs. On the contrary, our desire is to lead by example and heed the admonition to put our own oxygen mask on first.
Beginning this summer, we are launching a corporate personal financial wellness program at the home office. We have already run a survey and the interest is high. Using our LiSA Literacy Project curriculum which was private-labeled by the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), we plan to roll up our sleeves, and together, dive into the complex subject of money: budgeting, savings, credit, credit repair, purchasing a home, financing college, savings, retirement, and yes, INSURANCE. Additionally, those of us who have been certified by the NFEC will offer financial coaching and mentoring.
This is a pilot program that flows from our core values. We don’t know exactly how it is going to roll out (because even the best laid plans need to be flexible), but we promise two things. First, our corporate financial wellness program will be executed with sensitivity and compassion – this will be a safe place for all involved. And second, we will keep you posted as to what we are learning and how this is affecting the corporate culture of our company.
And who knows? Financial wellness might be contagious! After experiencing financial peace of mind, some FFS employees may want to get certified so they can teach others. Or perhaps someone else may want to model a financial wellness program after ours. Stay tuned!
1 Unity Wellness Group, LaGrange, IL.
2 Wall Street Journal.
3 “Financial Literacy Shares Spotlight with Health Wellness.” FoxBusiness.com, Feb. 3, 2011.