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Financial Wellbeing Benefits both the Employer and the Employee

When you envision overall wellbeing, do you think about finances too? Employee wellbeing is more than just physical health. When employers include financial wellbeing in an employee’s offering, the health of the individual as well as the company can improve. August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day so we thought it was fitting to convey how to get creative when you consider financial wellbeing.

According to Gallup research into a “life well-lived” - the concept underlying wellbeing - includes five critical elements: Career, Social, Physical, Community and Financial wellbeing. A person’s experience of wellbeing affects every aspect of their life, including their experience on the job.

Many young people want to get an education so they can pursue a career of their dreams, but we all know that continued education comes at a high cost these days. So what do you do if you come from a family that doesn’t have the capacity to pay for additional education? If you are like a few of our Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) program youth, you turn your talents into scholarships!

Anijah is one of our alumni who was active in our JMG program at Benton Harbor High School. She learned career-focused skills through the JMG program that helped her apply for scholarships. In fact, during her senior year of high school, she was dual enrolled in high school and college classes which earned her 10 college credits before she ever graduated high school! She applied and was offered over $200,000 in scholarships.

TK, a JMG alumni from Flint Southwestern Classical Academy, used his learned skills to build up an impressive resume, which led to him being offered admission to over 40 colleges and scholarships totaling over $1 million. TK would tell you “there are scholarships for EVERYTHING! The more scholarships you apply for, the more money you could possibly receive.”

Networks Northwest, one of our affiliates, also started offering a $1,000 JMG Scholarship to help defray the cost of continuing education. Dafne, a program participant from Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center (CTC), will be using her scholarship to study culinary arts at Northern Michigan College (NMC) this fall.

These are wonderful examples of creatively financing an education and can help address the fact that Michigan falls below the national average for post-high school education. According to the Lumina Foundation, just over 50% of Michigan residents aged 25 to 64 had a credential, associate degree, college degree or higher. Those with advanced education of any form, set themselves up for greater financial success and it benefits the employer too. Because of this, Governor Whitmer has created a Sixty by 30 goal - 60% of working-age Michigan residents to have graduated from a post-high school education or training program by 2030.

Employers see this as well and innovative companies are adopting financial wellbeing initiatives as well. When workers aren’t overly concerned about their finances they are more likely to be:

  • Less stressed. The American Psychological Association reported that 22% of working age people experience extreme financial stress.

  • More Innovative. Financial worries inhibit risk-taking. If employees are afraid they’ll lose their job, they may not speak up and you won’t get new ideas from them.

  • More loyal. According to Gartner, on average, people increase their pay by 15% when they take a new job. But if they feel engaged and more secure financially, they are more likely to stay.

As part of the JMG Program, all participants learn “work-ready” competencies that are real-world skills like how to evaluate a career plan to determine appropriate post secondary educational options, prepare a short and long-term personal budget and practice better money management skills. What type of creative programs do you have in place to improve your employee’s financial wellbeing? How can you help defray the costs of education so you can improve your long term talent pipeline? We’d be interested in hearing what you are doing to creatively offer solutions for ongoing professional development and education opportunities. Post your ideas on our social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow our Youth Solutions Twitter and Facebook pages as well!

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