Your Employees are Financially Stressed. So, What are You Going to Do About It?

According to research by the American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans are financially stressed. It goes without saying that financial stress takes a serious toll on an individual’s health, happiness, and overall well-being. But it also has a ripple effect on our workforce. When employees are stressed, productivity, performance, and engagement all plummet. So, what are we doing to help employees manage stress? Not much. New research from Aptitude reveals that 70% of companies have no formal process to manage employee stress. Given the impact of stress on our personal and professional lives, can’t we do better? Can’t we provide employees with the right resources and support to manage their personal finances and pay off debt?

Fortunately, some organizations are committed to doing more. Companies are being more strategic when they think about financial stress and investing in solutions that impact the bottom line. In our latest research, we found that 1 in 4 companies have financial wellness solutions. While it is exciting that companies are embracing financial wellness, many of these solutions do little to help employees manage the stress. Instead, they simply provide information and data without an action plan to help employees as they move forward. Financial wellness is an area that is still emerging and organizations must make better decisions around the providers they consider.

One of the financial wellness providers I have been most impressed with this year is Best Money Moves. Their solution helps organizations tackle the real issues impacting our workforce in a way that maintains employee privacy and empowerment. It is a mobile-first employee benefit solution that helps employees understand and take control of their finances. It also offers “money coaches” to help employees make better decisions about their finances moving forward.

Most companies understand that financial stress has become a crisis and that this is the time to address it. Yet, finding the right solutions can be tricky. Here are a few recommendations to think about as you begin tackling financial stress in your organization:

  • Measure It: Find solutions that do more than just make assumptions or generalize financial stress. Instead, consider solutions that truly measure individual stress levels and provide an action plan to help employees take control of their finances.
  • Keep It Simple: Finances are scary. The worst thing an employer can do is invest in solutions that overcomplicate financial wellness and make it intimidating. Companies should look for solutions that keep it simple and easy for employees to understand what they need to do.
  • Establish Trust: Privacy is a critical consideration in financial wellness. Employees need a solution that they can trust will maintain their privacy and provide the right advice.

We are excited to be providing more research on financial wellness this year and would love to hear what solutions you are using and what challenges you are facing.


New Year, New Priorities, and New Data

We are ready for a new year. We have been busy planning ahead and we are setting new goals and priorities. It is an exciting time to be in HCM and we are looking forward to the next twelve months.

Here are a few of the things you can expect to see from Aptitude in 2018:

  • New Data: Mollie launched her Impact Survey and she is in the process of analyzing the key findings that include payroll, compensation, and total rewards data. Later this month we are launching our Talent Acquisition and Engagement Survey and will look at investment, integration, and analytics. We will be sharing our findings in early February.
  • New Website: We are all about simplicity this year, and our new website will reflect this commitment. We want to make it as easy as possible for our community to find our research, connect with analysts, and discover our latest thoughts and insights. We will be launching a new website in early Q2.
  • New Content: We are becoming more consistent with the content we publish – not only reports, but also blogs (every Tuesday and Wednesday) and Aptitude Fast Facts; data points we will share on our website and twitter every Monday.
  • New Conversations: Connecting with HR and Talent Acquisition leaders and practitioners is a big part of what we do. We plan to make this an even bigger commitment in 2018 through research advisory councils and new relationships and conversations.
  • New Index Reports: We are updating our Payroll, ATS, and Recruitment Marketing Index Reports. Also, we are tackling RPO and recognition this year. We will share more information on our Index Reports in the next few weeks.

We are excited for everything “new” this year and would love any feedback on our surveys, content, website…anything. Let us know what research you are hoping to see this year!


HR Technology Conference: 5 Reasons We are Excited to Attend

It is hard to believe that the HR Technology Conference is just one week away. This will be my 10th year attending the event and I have been spending the past few days reflecting on the past and considering the future. So much has changed in this industry over the past decade. Some of the largest providers have been acquired (Taleo, SuccessFactors, Kenexa and now Monster) and many exciting startups seem to be taking center stage. Providers are going to market with solutions that not only lift the administrative burden off of HR departments but also, provide a meaningful experience for candidates, employees and managers. The value proposition for many of these solutions has never been greater.

As we start to plan for next week, below are five things we are most excited about:

  1. Startup Pavilion: “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” – Thomas Edison, General Electric Co-founder. The startups at the conference will not disappoint. Over 50 companies will be participating in this year’s Startup Pavilion including onboarding, assessment, performance management and benefits companies. They are all rethinking the way companies rely on technology to manage their workforce and enhance the employee or candidate experiences.
  2. Next Great Technology: Speaking of startups…on Tuesday, October 4 at 3:30pm, I will be participating in The Next Great Technology session where participants will be able to hear and vote on 8 of the most exciting providers in the market today. Check out HighGround (performance management) and Clinch (recruitment marketing) who will be featured during this session.
  3. Performance Management: Are companies really ready to throw out traditional performance management practices and systems and replace them with more innovate and effective options. We think so. We have seen companies such as GE and Lionsgate rethink their approach for performance and invest in new solutions. Many providers are offering viable options- something we have not seen for a long time.
  4. Candidate Experience: Every talent acquisition provider is prioritizing the candidate experience in all aspects of recruitment. And while we are excited to hear what new technology is improving candidate feedback, we are most excited to hear from industry expert Gerry Crispin– who has spearheaded this movement. (He was also our last guest on the Research on the Rocks podcast).
  5. Conversations: Last year, we set off on a journey to start a new conversation in HCM. This year, we are excited to continue that conversation by reconnecting with familiar faces and making new friends in this very exciting market. We hope to see you there!

Employee Communication: Executive Summary

Aptitude Research Partner’s is excited to launch our Employee Communications research focused on strategies for building stronger relationships between employees and employers and driving business success. Please click on the link below to download the Executive Summary of the report.

ARP Employee Communications Exec Sum

Employee communication is the most critical job of the modern HR professional and too often, the most overlooked. Any workforce challenge can be linked to poor communication including engagement, retention, productivity and performance. When employees do not receive the information they need to do their jobs, they are more likely to underperform and to leave. Although 96% of companies recognize that stronger communication drives business results, most employee communication is ineffective and inconsistent. In fact, only 47% of employees read their communication messages.

This report based on data collected in February 2016 will explore the need for strategic communication, the changes in today’s workforce and the role of technology in driving business outcomes