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Create a Financial Wellness Program that Matches Employee Needs

In 1522, Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and his massive army attacked the tiny island of Rhodes. However, the troops of Rhodes were able to thwart their enemy thanks to engineer Gabriele Tadini, who was able to design underground tunnels monitored by trained civilians, who would determine, with a listening device Tadini invented, when the enemy was approaching in order to destroy their tunnel. To help a plan sponsor meet its clients’ needs as perfectly as Tadini met the needs of the besieged people of Rhodes requires a strong financial wellness program.


Advisors tend to focus primarily on plan sponsor needs

When building or evaluating the financial wellness you’re offering, advisors tend to focus primarily on plan-sponsor needs. First, they identify and prioritize the plan sponsor’s top corporate objectives for financial wellness, which might include recruiting or retaining talent, managing benefits’ costs, decreasing absenteeism or improving benefits. Then, advisors determine how they’ll measure results and how frequently they’ll meet with plan sponsors to review metrics.

Assess employee needs also

Participants have needs too. Don’t overlook their needs. Find out how participants feel about their overall financial health. Then find out which of the following categories is most important to them:

  1. Maximize a retirement plan
  2. Planning for retirement
  3. Investment planning
  4. Saving and budgeting
  5. Caring for others

You can also learn specific aspects of participants’ specific needs within each these categories. For example, in the savings and budgeting category, ask if employees want help creating and managing a monthly budget, paying down credit card debt, paying off student loan debt, or saving for a major purchase like a vacation or second home. Finally, find out how participants like to participate in your financial wellness program. Do they prefer receiving information in print, via phone, in-person, in group meetings, via webcast, or online?


Assess plan sponsor and employee needs with survey forms

We offer survey forms from Ann Schleck & Co. that you can use to assess both employee and plan sponsor needs. You can download the individual forms at (you'll need to login or register to get these forms).

Listen to the needs of participants

Like Tadini's drum-like listening tool, use surveys to hear participant needs. It's a critical step when creating or evaluating your financial wellness programs


Next Steps:

  1. Today, download the Assess Employee Needs form below.
  2. Within one week, have a conversation with three plan sponsors about surveying participants to assess their needs.
  3. Within one month, implement a participant survey. Assess how well your financial wellness program matches participant needs based on survey results.

Hartford Funds has engaged Ann Schleck & Co. LLC to develop the materials referenced herein. Ann Schleck & Co. LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds. 

Hartford Funds does not provide investment recommendations or advice.  Hartford Funds does not serve as a fiduciary. This material is for use by parties that satisfy the Sophisticated Counterparty Exception of the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule.