Identify Solutions

Step 2: Prioritize Solutions

Evaluating solutions and partners based on their financial health impact, among other criteria, can help ensure that the programs you design meet the employee needs you’ve identified.

Step 2: Prioritize Solutions

How to Prioritize Solutions

Once you’ve identified the gaps in your existing programs and policies, and where those overlap with your employees’ needs, you’re ready to identify and prioritize solutions. Potential solutions could include changes to compensation or core benefits design, adding new benefits to address unmet needs, or behavioral design enhancements to existing benefits, such as adding auto-enrollment or auto-escalation features to your retirement plan.

Take a look at our Guide to Employee Financial Health Solutions for an overview of 14 potential solutions to address specific employee financial health challenges, along with some tips for implementation and employer examples. You can also explore other promising behaviorally informed interventions in the Design for Engagement section of this Toolkit.

How can I determine if a solution is the right fit for my employees’ needs?

Evaluating potential solutions against these criteria can help you narrow your list down to those that are most likely to be a fit for your company:

Financial health impact

How well does the solution meet the needs you identified? Is there strong evidence that it will result in improved outcomes for your employees?

Potential to advance equity

Will investing in this solution help to close financial health gaps between employee segments, such as by race, gender, job category, or other characteristics? (See “Why Does Equity Matter?”)

Company values

Does the solution align with how your company views its role in supporting employee well-being? How well does it fit within your company’s overall talent strategy? Will it resonate with employees and senior leadership?

Ease of implementation

How complex will it be to implement the solution? Can you work with existing vendors or do you need to seek out new partners? What technological or operational resources will be required?

Cost and ROI

The cost of any new solution, and its potential return on investment (ROI) in the form of reduced turnover or other operational improvements, are important considerations. However, cost and ROI should always be weighed against the other criteria outlined above. Some solutions may be more expensive or have less immediate impacts on operations, but they are deeply aligned with the company’s values and have the potential to significantly improve financial health and achieve greater equity among your workforce.

Financial Health and Job Quality

Wages and benefits that support financial health are critical components of overall job quality, along with scheduling stability, job security, career advancement opportunities, and a sense of purpose in one’s work. There is a strong relationship between job quality and the likelihood that someone is financially healthy, especially for workers of color.15 Job quality and company performance are also deeply interconnected.

Explore these resources to learn more about the links between job quality and financial health and how to improve outcomes for your people and your business:

  • The Good Jobs Institute provides a rich set of tools and case studies for HR leaders who want to learn how to create quality jobs that enable their workers and their companies to thrive.
  • The Workforce and Organizational Research Center (WORC) is an evaluation and research consultancy for nonprofit advocates, community-based organizations, and employers committed to job quality.
  • For small businesses, Pacific Community Ventures offers a practical toolkit with advice and resources for creating good jobs that boost the bottom line.

Evaluating Third-Party Partners

You may be able to implement some solutions with the resources and relationships you already have, like adjusting your wage or leave policies or rolling out a new feature with an existing benefits vendor. Other solutions might require seeking out new partners, especially if the results of your financial health gap assessment highlighted areas your current programs and policies do not cover.

What should I look for in a partner?

In addition to your standard vendor due diligence criteria, here are some characteristics to look for in a potential partner:

Does the partner demonstrate a commitment to financial health?

Consider factors like corporate values statements, business practices, and product design. The FinHealth MAP provides examples of how companies are embedding financial health into their strategies and operations.

Does the partner actively measure the financial health of its end users?

In addition to being a telling indicator of a company’s commitment to financial health, partners with existing mechanisms in place to measure user financial health can make it much easier to periodically reassess your own workforce over time.

Is the partner committed to promoting equity in financial health?

Look for partners who share your commitment to closing financial health gaps and can provide tools to help you better understand and address those gaps among segments of your workforce.

Does the partner’s business model and pricing structure support financial health?

When your employees succeed, does the partner’s business succeed as well? Making sure that your and your partner’s incentives are aligned is critical for establishing a long-term relationship that leads to positive outcomes for your employees.

Does the partner have a culture of testing and learning?

We can’t always know what works best in any given circumstance. By partnering with vendors that have both the mindset and the capabilities to continually test what is working (and what is not) to improve employee outcomes and your own business metrics, you will have greater confidence in the solutions you are providing your employees. Explore how to create a culture of testing and learning within your own company in the Measure Impact section of this Toolkit.

  1. Karla Henriquez, “Good Jobs Matter: Worker Financial Health During COVID-19,” Financial Health Network, November 2020.

Step 3: Secure Buy-In