When it comes to communicating financial matters to the workforce, many employers rely on emails and employee intranets – updating staff with details relating to their benefits packages.

Financial education in the workplace is a pretty new phenomenon, yet I’d argue that most employers running a financial education programme will – again – rely on technology to communicate to staff. The importance of engaging the workforce cannot be underestimated – one-way dialogue, or using technology as the interface will never be sufficient.

I don’t disagree with an online-focused approach, as one way of keeping in contact with the workforce. However, I would always advocate that employers look at how they can encourage a greater level of engagement. When it comes to technology; live meetings, Skype calls and webinars should all be considered – promoting two-way communication and a more targeted approach.

As increasing numbers of employers begin to invest in and run workplace financial education programmes, we would always advocate the need to take the marketing of such a programme seriously. A comprehensive marketing strategy run over a period of time will ensure the programme’s success.

TOP FIVE STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL WORKPLACE FINANCIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME

1- Those implementing a financial education programme are likely to be HR and not PR specialists. We would therefore recommend that they recruit marketing professionals to promote this programme to staff, or involve their own marketing teams for advice and support.

2- Don’t rely solely on the written word. Face-to-face dialogue is far stronger, and helps to build employee engagement levels. When it comes to matters of finance, people prefer one-to-one relations – it needs to be conversational and based on Q&A. Putting information on your intranet is not ‘education’.

3- Don’t assume you know what your staff want to know about.  Get them involved from the outset and invite them to choose to learn about what is important to them; not what you think is important.

4- Make the experience meaningful. All content needs to be relevant, according to the recipient. Employees need to be segmented according to their individual requirements. Workshops and literature should be targeted, which will – in turn – support their buy in.

5- Ensure that you take on feedback from your staff and adapt accordingly. This will lead to the most positive outcomes. At the end of the day, your staff need to buy into this. Be adaptable. Be prepared to adapt the programme in response to the feedback you receive. It needs to evolve with the company, and the workforce.

By Darren Laverty, Secondsight.

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