Nine companies are the winners of the first Workplace Leaders in Financial Education Award from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
It is the first national honor for employers who provide financial education programs that improve the personal well-being of employees. Workplace programs can teach employers skills that can reduce financial stress and decrease related asenteeism, improve productivity and increase employees’ allegiance to their company.
SHRM and the AICPA were inspired to create the award by a working group of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy as a way to recognize employers who excel at promoting financial literacy among their employees.
Winners were chosen by members of the advisory council, the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, HR professionals and CPAs.
Applicants were judged on innovation, effective tactics, evidence of results, and whether a program showed a significant scope in increasing employee financial wellness.
Chosen from more than 300 applications, the following winners were announced Nov. 3, 2011:
- American Express of New York, N.Y.
- Centre Area Transportation Authority of State College, Pa.
- Heritage Wealth Advisors of Richmond, Va.
- Mountain America Credit Union of West Jordan, Utah.
- NYSE Euronext of New York, N.Y.
- New York Presbyterian Hospital of New York, N.Y.
- Therm-o-Disc Inc., a division of Emerson Electric, of Mansfield, Ohio.
- UA Healthcare of Tucson, Ariz.
- WorldatWork of Scottsdale, Ariz.
SHRM and the AICPA define financial wellness as a person’s skill and knowledge for making sound decisions about personal finances. Those decisions cover such topics as saving, budgeting, wise credit card use, education, tax and retirement planning, investing, and choosing company benefits wisely.
“It’s no secret that the economy is weak and individual financial security is top of mind for many workers,” SHRM President and CEO Henry G. “Hank” Jackson, CPA, said in a news release. “Now is the time to educate employees about personal finance and financial well-being.”
Thirty percent of organizations offer one-on-one financial or investment advice, according to SHRM’s 2011 Employee Benefits research report, conducted in February 2011 with 600 HR professionals. It also found that 24 percent offered advice through in-group or classroom sessions and that 22 percent deliver such advice online.
Employers can find a toolkit and information to help them develop their financial education programs at www.wlife.org.
Rising College Costs Heighten Employees' Financial Stress, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, September 2011
Financial Stress Contributing to Productivity Loss, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, April 2011
Investment Advice Effective When Used, but Participation Lags, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, November 2010
Assessing and Developing Employee Financial Competency, SHRM Templates and Tools
SHRM Online Benefits Discipline
SHRM Online Retirement Plans Resource Page