Discover how industry executives and HR leaders can create a competitive benefits package that improves employee wellbeing and their bottom line.
Dig deep on EWA (Earned Wage Access).
Understand HR leaders' responsibility for and impact on employees' financial wellness - and the consequences of negligence.
While CEOs, CFOs, HR professionals, and other business leaders have made great strides in improving employee benefits over the past few years, many have overlooked a critical factor when attempting to identify and implement important benefit improvements: their employees.
This panel discussion featuring several business executives, as well as findings from a recent survey of 1,250 employees and 200 employers across various industries, provides viewers with the opportunity to learn how employees’ benefit needs are evolving and why.
Panelists also explore the link between benefits packages and employees’ financial health, mental health, stress levels, retention, and productivity—and how all of these factors impact an organization’s bottom line.
The hidden threat
People who reported significant financial stress were 13 times more likely to have a heart attack than those who had minimal or no stress, according to a Medical News Today article in 2017. And more recently, new research found that, aside from the immediate effect on wellbeing, financial stress can lead to physical pain 30 years later.
Negative impacts on mental and physical health affect employee attention and performance whilst on the job, making workers less effective, with potentially dire outcomes—especially in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, or transportation, where mistakes can be fatal.
And worryingly, according to the recent survey from Immediate, 86% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, which can cause intense stress on an individual and households more broadly.
Our panelists argued that employers have overestimated the financial health of their employees, resulting in 2 in 5 failing to offer any financial wellness tools or benefits. This failing has resulted in individuals turning to Payday Loans and other forms of predatory-type financial assistance, which can lead to even more financial stress.
We’ve all heard, and especially in the HR-realm, the impact, and importance of wellbeing, but financial wellness specifically is seemingly being ignored when we look at figures like this.
Not providing on-demand pay is like not providing healthcare, assuming all of your people are always going to be healthy… you can’t assume anything
Bruno Stanziale, CEO & Chairman of the Board at FusionRL
Business leaders want to believe that they’re doing everything they can for all their employees through their benefits packages, and when surveyed, reported the financial health of their employees skewing to the better side of the chart. But with 77% of employees in Immediate’s recent survey saying that an Earned Wage Access solution would help alleviate their financial stress, maybe there is more an employer could be doing, and everything isn’t as good as it seems?
What is Earned Wage Access (EWA)?
It’s not about pay anymore, it’s about life. There is so much happening in life, that you and I and employers can have no idea what’s going on all the time
Dr. Sanjay Singh, Board Member and Advisor, Pack Health
Our webinar moderator, Dan D’Orazio told viewers that EWA has really come about in the last four years or so through a cultural shift of what employees expect from their employers in regards to pay. He discussed three megatrends in the world of work that have potentially caused this shift: the Gig Economy, Employee Instability, and Evolution of Pay.
Matt Pierce, Founder and CEO of Immediate, elaborated on this by stating, “These megatrends are shaping our job market. The rise of the gig economy leads to employee instability and increased turnover… what that’s leading to is the evolution of pay… so how Immediate steps in is through our Earned Wage Access solution called Immediate Pay. Some people refer to this as on-demand pay, and that’s exactly what it is.”
“We can see exactly how much Gross Pay an employee has earned, and in coordination with the employer, we can give them access to a portion of those funds, up to a set number of times in a certain pay period,” Matt told viewers as he outlined what their EWA solution offers.
We want to help people find and sustain financial happiness by managing some of those peaks and valleys of income… this is a way for you to access your earned but unpaid wages
Matt Pierce, Founder & CEO, Immediate
Still not convinced? Well, both Bruno and Sanjay discussed the reservations they both had to EWA as well as the impact that offering on-demand pay can have on both recruiting and retainment within an organization and how this changed their minds.
Impact of EWA on Recruiting and Retainment
80% of employees say they would prioritize an employer that offers an EWA solution over one that does not.
“There’s a very interesting job market out there,” Matt told the audience, “Employers are having to offer bonuses and do everything they can to recruit and to get people into the process because they’re looking around and thinking, ‘what else is there?’” Seemingly, in his experience, employers are looking for ways to differentiate their proposition to potential candidates, to even get them through the door for an interview.
“Work today, get paid today” and “Clock out, get paid” were just some examples of employer messaging around their EWA benefits that were brought up amongst the panel, as a clear indicator that employers are really able to utilize these tools as an attractive benefit for their employees and potential candidates.
They’re really using Earned Wage Access as a way to get people into the hopper
Matt Pierce, Founder & CEO, Immediate
The reason why tools like EWA solutions that can help alleviate financial stress are such an effective part of an employer’s value proposition really comes down to the reassurance they can provide individuals, especially in our current context where many workers are concerned about getting sick (or their family) and what that means for their income.
26% of employees would delay medical care if faced with an unexpected medical cost.
Bruno elaborated by telling the viewers, “EWA solutions like Immediate are really powerful at retaining people… We found that people within a company where they can access their earned wages and alleviate financial stress, make their life more normal, are less likely to leave. And it’s not just that people stay, it’s that they become ambassadors of your brand. They are happy to be employees of a company that offers this kind of benefit. It’s unique, it’s not self-serving, and it’s a true benefit. So one of the residual values is that organizations employing EWA solutions are now becoming brand ambassadors that are evangelizing the fact that their employers are offering this benefit.”
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