This is a 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19) interview is with Wells Fargo, who will be promoting their Wells Fargo at Work financial wellness services. Below is a quick Q&A with Michael Proctor, who leads the national client division of this program.
Who is Wells Fargo!? Tell us everything, just as you would someone approaching your booth and asking you this question at #SHRM19 in Las Vegas.
As a company, our Vision, Values, and Goals are what guides us to be the best we can be — for each other, our customers, and our communities. We place customers at the center of everything we do, we invest in our team members, diversity and inclusion play an important role in our culture, we are committed to doing the right thing and hold ethics to the highest standards, and all are called to be a leader.
Booth number 1338 is where you will find us. We are the team from Wells Fargo representing our Wells Fargo At Work national program. The Wells Fargo At Work program is an extension of our culture and provides financial education to the employees of the businesses we serve. The goal of the program is to improve the financial health of America’s workforce at no cost and help individuals make informed financial decisions in the areas of money management, savings and retirement planning, home buying, paying for college, credit knowledge, and identity protection through workshops, seminars, tools, free online resources, and advice and guidance in person, online, mobile, and by phone.
Let us in on the magic. How do you teach individuals to make informed financial decisions?
Every person is on his or her own financial journey, and the financial habits and history of each person is different. With this understanding, we will collaborate with an employer to assess the financial needs and goals of employees through informal surveys and other available information.
Our team builds an implementation plan, fully communicating our tools and resources through available channels, and then track, measure, and score employee engagement through check-in calls, employee feedback, evaluation forms/summary, surveys, response rate of communications, benefits website user rates, and other company evaluation tools.
We offer in-person workshops delivered at the workplace, Financial Health Coaches who can support employees’ financial journey over the telephone, financial tools and resources available online 24-7, and a series of 30 webinars focused on planning and paying for college, home buying, retirement and professional development.
Barometers of success include benefits utilization and attendance, 401(k) loan utilization, hardship withdrawals, employee counseling – calls from employees for assistance, and conversations with employees.
What are the biggest challenges companies face when implementing these services? How do they overcome those challenges?
Understanding what their employees need, understanding how their employees want it delivered, and how much involvement is needed from HR – what is the time commitment. It’s all about communication and logistics to solve for all three of these concerns. With decades of experience working with thousands of employers, we have the experience to help employers succeed. Understanding their employees needs can be accomplished through something as simple as a survey or through observation of other key employee metrics. Understanding how employees want a workplace financial education program delivered can be accomplished by first looking at where your employees work – home, office, or on the road – and then aligning virtual or in-person tools that support when and where they work.
What do you wish more HR professionals and recruiters knew about financial education in the workplace?
I wish they knew financial education in the workplace is critical, not just a nice to have. If you don’t have a plan or program like this now, it is definitely something you must consider. Financial well-being is a component of total well-being. Most employers today are focused on some or all aspects of total well-being as a way to lower costs, increase productivity, increase employee loyalty, and support recruiting of the best candidates. Financial education programs in the workplace are easy to implement, and every company should have one because personal finance touches every aspect of our lives, every single day.
What kind of benefits does Wells Fargo at Work provide to employers? What about employees? (Reduced stress, etc.)
The Wells Fargo At Work program may help employers reduce absenteeism, reduce health care costs, increase total employee wellness measures, and reduce turnover. What we see trending from employers is an investment in wellness programs to reduce the cost of healthcare. Physical wellness extends into learning and maintaining healthy financial habits. When employees feel empowered and knowledgeable about their financial path, this translates into physical wellness, and emotional wellness, reduced stress and greater productivity.
For anyone who won’t be able to make it to the Wells Fargo booth in Las Vegas, what do you want them to know?
The most important thing for people to know is that we are here to help. We are here to make a difference in America’s workforce. Over the course of 20 years, more than 50,000 employers have leveraged the Wells Fargo At Work program. In 2018, roughly 6 million employees took part in a Wells Fargo At Work hosted event.
Financial wellness is a complex topic and one size does not fit all. We would like to have a conversation with you about how we can help you support the financial success of your workforce. Please stop by booth #1338 and say hello. Our team at the booth has over 100 combined years of financial experience and we would love to partner with you.
SHRM attendees can find more information about Wells Fargo At Work at wellsfargo.com/atwork or contact Tamara Kline for the Eastern US at email@example.com or Danyael Campos for the Western U.S. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Wells Fargo booth #1338 at #SHRM19!