Identify Solutions

Step 3: Secure Buy-in

Combining compelling data with qualitative insights can help make the business case for financial health investments and secure buy-in from senior executives.

Step 3: Secure Buy-in

Develop a Business Case

A robust approach to diagnosing your employees’ needs is the most critical step in building the business case (see the Diagnose Needs section of this Toolkit). When senior leaders are presented with clear and compelling evidence that their employees are struggling financially, they are often persuaded to make resources available to help solve those challenges.

Combining data on employee outcomes with important business metrics like retention, turnover, and productivity can help to build a business case for investing in your employees’ financial health.

Some other less common metrics can also be useful. For example:

  • For the portion of your workforce that is customer-facing, as in storefronts or call centers, consider correlating customer satisfaction scores with data on the financial stress of workers in a given location. It’s hard for employees to provide top-notch customer care when they are distracted by money worries.16
  • For employees in caregiving settings, look at the relationship between employees’ financial worries and patient outcomes. One study estimated that a 10% increase in the minimum wage would prevent at least 15,000 deaths in long-term residential care facilities.17
  • In industries where employee health and safety is a critical metric, you might find evidence that financial stress is making your workers less safe. One study found that financial worries are associated with an increase in the likelihood of preventable accidents for short-haul truck drivers.18

Showing the human side of your employees’ financial health challenges can also have a big impact. For example, consider gathering anonymous quotes or anecdotes from employees through focus groups, open-ended survey questions, or one-on-one conversations. These qualitative insights can bring the issues to life for executives and move them to act in a way that data often can’t.

Walking in the Shoes of the Financially Struggling

One powerful way to secure the support of your company’s senior executives is to allow them to spend a day walking in the shoes of financially vulnerable workers. The Financial Health Network has developed an immersive, in-the-field activity called FinX, in which participants must make many of the same decisions that struggling consumers make on a daily basis – such as cashing checks, inquiring about payday loans, loading prepaid cards, and making minute-by-minute cost-versus-time trade-offs. Hosting a FinX workshop for your HR and leadership teams can foster empathy for your employees’ financial struggles and promote buy-in for your financial health strategy. Reach out to learn more.

Employer Spotlight: PayPal

Leadership Support for Financial Health

After conducting a financial wellness assessment and reviewing applications to the company’s Employee Relief Fund, PayPal discovered that many of its hourly and entry-level employees were frequently running out of money between paydays. The company offers above-market salaries and generous benefits, so these results came as a big surprise to senior leaders. “When we began this effort, I certainly didn’t expect to discover such a large gap between what we were providing for our employees and what they needed,” PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman says.

Since then, PayPal has made significant investments in its workforce, including reducing the cost of healthcare, reviewing and raising wages where appropriate, providing all employees with an equity stake in the company, and offering financial education and planning resources. The company’s goal is to raise the PayPal-defined estimated Net Disposable Income (or the discretionary income remaining for employees after taxes and living expenses are paid), to at least 20% for all employees globally – up from as low as 4-6% for some U.S.-based hourly and entry level employees.

View Case Study

Recap: Identify Solutions

Before you continue on to Design for Engagement, make sure you’ve taken the time to…

Step 1: Assess Gaps
Once you’ve diagnosed your employees’ needs, a financial health gap assessment can help you identify gaps in your current programs and policies that could be met with enhancements to existing programs or new solutions.

Step 2: Prioritize Solutions
Potential solutions should be evaluated in terms of their employee financial health impact, ability to close equity gaps, alignment with company values, ease of implementation, and cost.

Step 3: Secure Buy-in
Combining compelling data with qualitative insights can help make the business case and secure buy-in from senior executives for financial health investments.

  1. Anandi Mani et al., “Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function,Science Magazine, August 2013.
  2. Krista Ruffini, “Worker earnings, service quality, and firm profitability: Evidence from nursing homes and minimum wage reforms,” Washington Center for Equitable Growth, June 2020.
  3. Jirs Meuris and Carrie Leana, “The Price of Financial Precarity: Organizational Costs of Employees’ Financial Concerns,” Organization Science, April 2018.

Design for Engagement