Financial education – Are you meeting your governance obligations?

Did you know that if your employees lack the basic financial literacy skills and knowledge needed to help them make informed financial decisions, you could be held responsible for their poor choices? If an employee claims that your organization should have known s/he wouldn’t be able to understand something, or that it wasn’t clear that s/he was expected to put the information or tool you provided into use, there could be grounds for taking legal action for hardship incurred due to poor financial planning.

This, combined with the fact that Canadians generally have low levels of financial literacy, means that organizations have to be more prepared and more watchful than ever.

Creating a highly successful employee education program that meets your obligations as an employer can easily be accomplished by taking the actions below:

  1. Introduce a financial education program that is comprehensive, systematic, easy-to-use, multi-platform and interactive.
  2. Ensure that you have executive level buy-in and visible support.
  3. Introduce a good internal communications program to generate high awareness and excitement.
  4. Deliver the program on an ongoing basis. Ideally your program should be supported with online learning that can be accessed any time to keep the learning cycle active.
  5. Strongly consider a qualified and experienced 3rd party partner to deliver the program for you. This discourages well-meaning employees from  inappropriately coaching from within the organization and shows commitment to good governance practices.
  6. Ensure company-wide availability. Many businesses provide pension and retirement education only to those getting close to retirement. Yet financial wellness impacts everyone and benefits employees and employers alike.
  7. Document what you are doing for your employees; be sure to make note of all relevant dates. Should you encounter any issues down the road, you can substantiate the details of the robust and successful program you have put in place.

About T.E. Wealth: T.E. Wealth offers a proactive approach to meeting corporate governance obligations by supporting your internal programs and safeguarding your company, board members and management teams. Our seasoned consultants first work to understand your business and culture, and then develop a financial education program to set you apart. T.E. Wealth has been helping executives and employees at many of Canada’s finest organizations manage their finances effectively for more than 40 years.

Click here to find out more about T.E. Wealth’s products and services including ProsperiGuide, a one-stop, personal finance tool designed to bolster financial well-being.

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These articles are for general informational purposes only. Please obtain professional advice before taking any action based on this information. No endorsement or approval of any third parties or their advice, information, products or services should be implied by any references to third parties contained in any article. Trademarks cited in these articles are the respective properties of their owners.

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