In the past several years, there has been a ton of innovation surrounding consumer finance. Now, more than ever, there are resources that make it easier for us all to connect with others in the pursuit of mutually beneficial financial goals. What’s missing, however, is the ability to include our largest stakeholder – our employers.
GreenShield is here to change that. Our mission is to make it easy for employers to help employees pay off their existing debt and begin saving for the future.
We fill the gap between health insurance and a retirement plan—these address your immediate health needs and long-term financial needs, but don’t provide for your short-term financial needs. We make it easy for employers to help their employees repay existing debt, save for an emergency and achieve their pre-retirement financial goals (like buying a house). We call this financial wellness.
Why financial wellness?
Employees are struggling with their finances. 70% are living paycheck to paycheck. 30 to 50% have a revolving credit card balance of almost $10k. 47% of millennials spend more than half their paycheck servicing debt. All of this creates a lot of stress—and that stress impacts their work. When employees are distracted and stressed, their productivity decreases—an average of $400/employee/year.
When this challenge is addressed, both employers and employees win – employees that are less stressed are happier and more productive, which translates to gains in the workplace. As a company, we at GreenShield are committed to helping our peers succeed in reaching their goals by tackling this very issue.
What can we do?
Providing financial assistance to employees has always been done in some capacity by forward-thinking employers – it just hasn’t always been easy and it certainly hasn’t always been anonymous or simple. Some examples that readily come to mind: payroll advances, 401(k) loans, educational assistance programs.
GreenShield is focused on making it easier for employers to expand their existing programs while changing employee behavior. Education isn’t enough. Most people know they should spend less and save more—that’s a no brainer. Rather than simply repackaging a consumer facing product to become enterprise-facing, our platform instead allows employers to support employees in changing their behaviors and taking charge of their futures.
What about the economics?
There are many direct-to-consumer financial businesses doing great things. There are also many direct-to-consumer financial businesses that only give employees half the truth. It’s not that they’re doing bad things; it’s just that their business model necessitates pointing consumers to certain partners that have the ability to compensate them. The challenge for consumers – and in our case, the employees – is knowing which companies are trustworthy.
GreenShield’s model is different. Instead, we partner with employers. In doing so, we’re able to offer employees access to unbiased financial advice, always steering them to the best resources available to them. For example, this might include an employee’s local credit union, rather than a higher cost alternative lender. It’s been found that employers save $3 for every $1 invested in a financial wellness program. The takeaway: everyone wins.
In recent years, we’ve seen the growth of health and wellness programs by leading employers. We’ve seen companies invest in healthcare transparency programs. And we’ve seen the continued success of Employee Assistance Programs. Now that employees are eating healthier, exercising more often and visiting the right medical professionals, it’s become clear that reducing employees’ financial stress is the next frontier in employee benefits.
More than 90% of large employers say they want to introduce or expand their financial wellness programs this year. GreenShield is here to help.
Are you interested? Get started here.