Almost one-third of the American workforce reports some level of financial stress—and that financial worry often follows them into work. A common source of that stress, for construction workers in particular, is living paycheck to paycheck.
For construction employers, financial wellness programs can help employees manage their personal finances and external stressors that impact their wellbeing. By helping construction employees better manage their finances, their reduced stress can translate into stronger job performance and improved overall health.
Understanding Employee Demographics and Stress
To better address the financial stress that construction employees face, employers must first understand its origins. First, some construction employees are contract workers and their schedules can be irregular. Second, while salaries for management and administrative construction jobs are in line with national averages, low wages are common for many new and young employees entering the construction trade. These low wages can have obvious direct implications on job satisfaction and stress outside of work.
Employee demographics can help employers better understand the financial wellness tools that can address their employees’ stresses. Every employee’s financial journey is different, so understanding how different groups behave can help employers tailor plans to best meet those needs.
While Millennials have shown more optimism about their financial future than their Generation X counterparts, many of them haven’t started saving for their retirement yet. Coupled with rising student loan debt, Millennials face many sources of financial stress that can impact their job performance.
Older employees in a company may be less concerned with things like getting married or moving out of their parents’ house and are more focused on preparing for retirement or helping their kids get to college. Their immediate and long-term financial goals look different than Millennials’ needs and should be addressed accordingly.
Financial wellness is the combination of education and resources that can help employees learn about and manage their own personal financial stressors. Financial wellness tools give employers the opportunity to give their employees personalized guidance and boost their financial literacy in the areas most relevant to them.
For some employees, financial stress may come from a lack of understanding of where they should focus their attention to better manage their finances. On-demand educational resources that help employees navigate retirement, budgeting, getting married or other common financial stressors, can help them feel empowered to make their own financial decisions.
Similar to on-demand benefits, personalizing communication to each of the employee groups or demographics can have a much bigger impact than mass emails and one-off campaigns. Younger employees may prefer text message reminders to check their open enrollment status while older employees may prefer handouts and reminders around the office.
Effective financial wellness benefits should include communications to employees in the ways most likely to reach them and adapt to their habits and needs as they navigate their financial journey. Whether it’s reminders about changes to 401k plans or encouraging a budget check-in, personalized communications based on employees’ current goals can yield much better results.