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An introduction to Financial Wellness for business owners

Helping your employees get the most from what they have now, while saving enough for the future

Our latest research indicates that financial stress takes a toll on workers and that financially-stressed employees may be less likely to be physically or mentally present at work, with clear implications for productivity.

The potential impact of stressed workers on productivity

If not addressed, financial stresses top the list of factors that may impact workplace productivity and worker well-being

Question: You identified the following as causing you stress. How much do you agree or disagree that each of these have impacted your ability to concentrate at work?
Source: The Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey 2023.

To decrease the impact of financial stress in the workplace, firms should consider the benefits of deeply understanding the financial state of their employees and supplying the solutions they need to build financial confidence.

As the needs of employees evolve so must the benefits offered by firms, which may encourage you to consider new ways to support employee engagement.

Our research has found that companies who take more responsibility for the financial well-being of their workforce fare better themselves with higher employee satisfaction.

Supporting employee financial wellness is also beneficial to employers

Question: On average, how satisfied are employees working at your firm?
Question: To what degree does your company feel responsible for taking steps to support employees’ financial wellness?
Source: The Fidelity Global Employer Survey 2023.

What does financial wellness mean?

Fidelity believes that Financial Wellness is holistic and multifaceted: objectively, it is an individual’s total financial situation; subjectively, it is how the person feels about their financial situation.

We’ve identified four common domains of Financial Wellness, concepts that advice practitioners will be very familiar with:



Spending within one’s means is the foundation of financial wellness. Maintaining a budget and a positive cash flow are precursors to managing debt, saving for the future and protecting against risk.



To achieve financial wellness, individuals must take control of their debt and save and invest for the future. This includes long-term savings and investing but also saving for short-term goals.



High levels of debt, and monthly debt repayment obligations, relative to income can present a considerable barrier to savings. All else equal, higher interest borrowing is of greatest concern.



Financial wellness also requires insuring against potential losses. Without adequate spare savings and/or protection against disastrous events, one’s financial situation can quickly become distressed.

Aligning on Financial Wellness

Firms may also benefit from expanding their definition of financial wellness to mirror their workplace culture.

To better support their workforce, firms may consider reviewing and expanding their definition of financial wellness to incorporate both quantitative (i.e. how much does a worker have or save) and qualitative (i.e. how does a worker feel about their financial situation) elements.

Equally important, firms may consider aligning how they define financial wellness to support their employees.

As outlined in the chart below, some attributes of financial wellness may be descriptive of how someone is feeling about their financial situation.

Financial wellness areas where there is an opportunity to align with employees

Question to employers: In your company’s view, what does it mean for employees to be “financially well”?
Question to employees: In your view, what does it mean for you to be “financially well”?
Source: The Fidelity Global Employer Survey 2023 (1,000 respondents) and The Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey 2023 (26,000 respondents).