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Benefits Prove Powerful in Middle Market Recruitment

Hal Conick

Employees are stressed about money and don’t like being surprised by health care price hikes. How can middle market companies leverage benefits to reduce stress and surprise?

Brian Nelson Ford grew up loving finance, devouring number-heavy books that would put most other children (and their parents) to sleep. “A lot of people think finance is boring, but I was just blown away,” says Ford, who works for SunTrust Banks and holds a title the company created just for him: financial well-being executive. 

Ford is right: People do find finance boring. Not only that, they don’t understand it. A George Washington University study found that only 16% of Americans are financially literate at a high level. However bored, people have paid attention long enough to be stressed. Fifty-three percent of employees feel financially stressed, per PwC’s “2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey.” Ford says even well-paid people often live paycheck to paycheck.

To assuage employees’ financial stress, 84% of large and midsize U.S. companies have adopted an employee financial wellness program as of 2017, according to the “Employer-Sponsored Health and Well-Being Survey” from the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments. This is up from 76% of businesses with such programs in 2016. 

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Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at hconick@ama.org or on Twitter at @HalConick.