The Business Roundtable recently shook up the corporate world with its new “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.” The document, signed by 181 CEOs from leading companies, responded to growing concerns that capitalism is working for those with wealth, while leaving others behind.
In what was a major policy change, the Business Roundtable said companies should be concerned not just about shareholders, but also about customers, employees, suppliers and communities. The statement ended with a commitment to deliver value to all stakeholders.
Call To Action For Corporate America
One way corporations can demonstrate their support for the Business Roundtable’s call to action is by helping employees achieve financial wellness — one of the most critical areas of a person’s life and a challenge insufficiently addressed in Corporate America. In my previous role overseeing 10,000 people at a multinational tech company, I became acutely aware of how financial stress impacts employees across all ages, genders and income levels. In fact, advancing the financial well-being of employees is why I started my company.
Financial wellness is a universal need, like quality healthcare and education. Yet, financial well-being has become more challenging for many Americans due to rising housing costs, student loan and credit card debt, and the lack of financial knowledge.
It’s important to understand just how stressed out employees have become. Their anxiety affects your company and their quality of life. A study by PwC demonstrate why financial wellness should be a corporate priority:
• Personal finances are the No. 1 stressor for employees.
• 47% of employees report that financial worries have either caused them to occasionally miss work or impacted their productivity at work.
• Fewer than half of baby boomers are confident about their retirement.
Corporate Leaders Wanted
In the 21st century, employers are well positioned to help workers achieve financial wellness. They already play a major role in the physical and mental health of their employees through their health insurance programs. Financial wellness as an employee benefit is an extension of that contract with workers. As important, employers have the infrastructure in place to deliver financial wellness programs.
For employers, the key is delivering a program that addresses every aspect of personal financial management: planning, budgeting, investing, debt management, estate planning and insurance. Ongoing education is also important to help employees manage life changes and changing economic conditions.