While many employee assistance programs help with marital problems, gambling, and drug abuse, financial education has not until recently been seen as a viable way to reduce workplace stress and lost productivity. However, in a 1987 survey, IDS Financial Services discovered that 43% of full-time employees felt that financial worries sometimes affected their job performance. Now, more and more companies are offering financial education to their employees as part of their benefit packages and are turning to outside financial services professionals for their expertise. This presents a great opportunity for financial services professionals who are prepared to counsel and advise employees in various company-sponsored settings.
Of course, financial education programs offer benefits to businesses beyond productivity increases. Companies are well aware of the danger of employees underfunding or mismanaging their retirement plans, and are anxious to protect themselves against any liabilities they may encounter as a result. General financial education seminars presented by knowledgeable financial professionals can be an important means to that end.
So what does this mean for you as a financial services professional? As more and more companies recognize the need for employee financial education, you have a tremendous opportunity to get your foot in the door. Think about calling businesses in your area to see if they currently provide some form of financial education to their employees. If they don’t, offer your services, such as:
Don’t forget that any contacts you make with the companies’ employees and executives during a group presentation may lead to individual referrals. Financial education programs for employees can be a great low-key way to market and attract higher net-worth clients. And don’t assume that larger regional or national companies would rather work with a financial services giant. Those who are just implementing a financial education program for their employees are not likely to overlook an independent financial advisor who gets to them first.