A new national award will recognize employers who offer outstanding financial literacy programs to their employees.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) are partnering on the Workplace Leaders in Financial Education award to salute employers who are improving employee engagement by helping employees increase their financial competency and to encourage other employers to follow their lead.
Recent research funded by a SHRM Foundation grant, for example, found that fear of foreclosure is a factor affecting employees’ desire to leave one employer for another.
“Research has shown that workers who have fewer financial concerns at home are more focused and productive at work,” said SHRM Interim President and CEO Henry G. “Hank” Jackson, CPA. “Through the establishment of this award, we hope to honor employers with successful financial education programs and mobilize employers who aren’t currently offering programs to their employees to do so.”
All employers—corporate, not-for-profit and government—with offices in the United States are eligible for a Workplace Leader in Financial Education Award. Interested organizations can submit award applications through July 1 at www.wlife.org, which includes a toolkit and information to help employers develop their own financial education programs. Applications will be evaluated on the scope of the program, tactics, results and innovation.
SHRM has advocated for financial literacy in the workplace for several years. In 2008, then SHRM Board Chair Janet Parker—now SHRM’s chief global membership officer—was one of 15 members of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, housed in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
SHRM’s partnership with AICPA stems from a recommendation from that council’s Workplace Committee. Many of AICPA’s 370,000 members volunteer as part of the association’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy initiative, and many SHRM members have launched financial education programs in their workplaces, according to Jackson.
Applicants for the Workplace Leaders in Financial Education award are asked to provide an overview of their organization’s financial education program along with details about the program. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2011, and best practices from those employers will be highlighted.
More Employers Consider Financial Literacy Programs, HR News, December 2008
Employees’ Financial Literacy Improves Bottom Line, HR News, August 2008
Easing the Burden of Employees’ Debt, HR Magazine, July 2008
Parker Named to Presidential Commission on Financial Literacy, HR News, January 2008