By Todd Shickel, vice president of business development, Elements Financial

Are you noticing that the workplace concept of “financial wellness” is becoming trendy?

Elements Financial has worked in the financial wellness space with employers since 1930 – long before it was popular – when we began our “at work” banking partnership with Eli Lilly and Company. It was during the Great Depression when our organization was founded to protect employees from the street lenders of that time.

Fast forward to modern day and Elements is serving more than 80 companies, both locally and nationally. This experience has led us to know there are many things decision-makers must take into account when selecting a financial wellness partner to support their employees. The relationship you and your employees will have with a financial institution is based on much more than just rates and fees. Although pricing is always an important part of the discussion, what else should you ask about? For starters, here are five things to keep in mind when deciding which bank or credit union you will endorse for your employees:

  1. Financial wellness expertise: What does the institution bring to the table in terms of subject matter expertise? You’ll want a partner that is dedicated to empowering your employees with knowledge to improve their financial lives. Ask for examples of educational programming that will be available to your employees on-site.
  2. Support for your HR/benefits/payroll team: Your HR team is busy and pulled in many different directions. It will need support from your financial institution. Can that financial institution provide assistance in promoting programs? How would it handle a health savings account rollout?
  3. Technology: You may have highly-savvy employees, just the opposite or, as in most cases, a blend across the board. You’ll want to see dynamic, yet user-friendly examples of Internet and mobile banking. Ask for a demo. As a pre-screen, visit the institution’s web site to get a sense for its style. Is it modern or dated?
  4. Access: Whether your company is local only or global, access is one of the most important elements to consider. What are the different ways your employees can get to their money? The options should extend well beyond physical branches. How can they access live support and is it available 24/7?
  5. Product solutions: Many institutions will have comparable products and services. Are the institution’s products designed to foster your employees’ financial wellness? Are the terms, conditions and rates structured to support your employees and lead them to their goals?

As time-tested experts in financial wellness, we can help you sort through our questions above: Does financial wellness work? What exactly is it to your company?

Please contact me at Elements to continue this financial wellness conversation:
(317) 524-5143 or tshickel@elements.org.