By Hank Jackson, SHRM President & CEO
April is financial literacy month in the U.S. As CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a father of young adults, I know the value of financial literacy in managing money to be successful. That is why I was pleased to represent SHRM to celebrate New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Financial Literacy Week (April 9-13) in New York City. I was at the same time humbled and gratified to take part in yesterday’s ringing of the Opening Bell, in the presence of executives from seven of the nine companies that won the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)/SHRM inaugural Workplace Leaders in Financial Education Award. NYSE Euronext was one of the winners.
A little over a year ago, SHRM partnered with AICPA to launch the Workplace Leaders in Financial Education (WLIFE) Award to recognize employers who provide financial education programs that improve the personal well-being of their employees. Winners were chosen from programs that showed results, innovation, effective tactics and a significant scope in increasing employee financial wellness. Applications were judged by members of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, HR professionals and CPAs. Last October, we announced the winning companies.
I was honored to meet leaders from the winning companies whose outstanding work makes a difference in the lives of their employees, their families and communities. Our Financial Education Initiatives in the Workplace Survey, which was released this past January, gives insight into just how difficult it is for employees to be their best at work when they are struggling with fully understanding the financial implications of many of their decisions. The survey results also showed that when employees face personal financial challenges, it is often their ability to focus on work, productivity, attendance, morale and overall health that suffer.
Congratulations to American Express, Centre Area Transportation Agency, Heritage Wealth Advisors, Mountain America Credit Union, New York Presbyterian Hospital, NYSE Euronext, UA Healthcare, Therm-o-Disc, Inc. and WorldatWork for setting the standard in programs that teach employees how to make better personal financial decisions.