Nov: Put Finances Front and Center for the Holidays

In this blog series, we’ll help you engage with employees about their benefits using month-by-month topics, along with messaging and ideas proven to grab attention. Plus, throughout the series, you’ll find downloadable templates and examples that save you the brain drain so you can get started quickly.

This blog issue focuses on November, but our downloadable calendar gives you a full 12 months of content.

Nov: Put Finances Front and Center for the Holidays

Many employees are seriously struggling in today’s economy. A new Bank of America report shows that 80% think their employer should play a role in supporting their financial wellness. And 97% of employers agree.

Even if you don’t have a separate financial wellness program, you probably have other ways to help employees feel better about their current financial situation, and their future security.

Message #1: Stressed about finances? You have benefits to help

People often feel alone in their money struggles. Let them know they certainly are not — cite a statistic in the Bank of America study that proves it (62% are stressed about money). Then, point them in the right direction for help.

Theme/MessageHow to Deliver It
“Talk to a financial counselor for free.”
Most EAPs offer a 30- or 60-minute consultation with a financial counselor. So do most 401(k) administrators. Many can also help with credit reports, identity theft, and more. Check with yours.
Through November, send weekly emails or texts with direct links to the free counseling sessions.
Create a “business card” with the free consultation contact info — give a stack to managers, supervisors, and line managers; they can pass them out in group meetings or one-on-one, as needed.
“Use the free resources available to you.”
Many EAPs and 401(k) administrators also have online education about finances, from articles and webinars to calculators, apps, and other tools.  
Create a poster/handout series highlighting four resources (webinar, app, calculator, other tools) — distribute a different one for four weeks straight.
The same information can be sent by email to office staff — with direct links.
Start a challenge (if your administrators can collect data) — everyone who checks out a resource in November gets a prize or entered for a prize in December.

If you do have a financial wellness program, November is a great time to promote it.
“Trying not to overspend this holiday season?”
Point employees to the program’s education and tools that can help with budgeting and prioritizing.

Message #2: Save on holiday shopping

Employee discount programs, like BenefitHub and Perks at Work, are often underused and underappreciated, mostly because they’re not actively promoted during the year. The holiday season is one of the best times to remind employees of the savings they could be missing.

Theme/MessageHow to Deliver It
“Shopping online? Start here for savings!”  
Remind employees of all the brand name merchandise they can find on the discount site. List the top 10 brands, or several of the popular categories (apparel, travel, electronics, entertainment, etc.).
Update your email signature with a one-liner about where to find the savings.
Create a poster/handout with the link and a QR code showing where to find the savings.
Create a board (online or in-office) where employees are encouraged to post/share the savings they find on the website — HR teams and champions can kick things off by populating a few.
“Save up to 50% on movie tickets, 60% on travel, and more.”  
Your program may have different numbers, but be specific about how much they can save, and the things they can save on.  
Create “coupons” with popular savings and the exact amounts available — include the website and QR code for easy access.
The same information can be sent by email to office staff — with direct links.
Create a board (in-office) with various coupons on it — encourage employees to take down the coupon, use it, and return for someone else to use.

And don’t be leery of promoting digital apps — the Bank of America study shows 52% of employees prefer to use a digital app to manage their finances. Stay tuned and watch for next month’s blog about how to promote a healthy holiday season.

You can find other blogs in this series by typing “year-round calendar” in the search area at the top of our website.

Download the year-round communications calendar — real ideas and examples