Asset management firm BlackRock rebranded its financial education programme for US staff in April 2012 by grouping it into three financial wellness categories, one of which was group risk benefits.
This included group income protection, life assurance and accidental death cover, available to all staff as core benefits up to a certain level. Employees can choose to flex their life cover up to a higher level or to include their partner’s life through the flexible benefits scheme. Critical illness insurance is also available via flex.
The focus on group risk benefits was important, because being prepared for the unexpected is how employees make sure they and their loved ones feel secure, says Katie Nedl, global head of benefits at BlackRock.
“It is commonplace for people to think about financial wellness as budgeting, saving and investing,” she says. “We think it is also important to approach financial wellness from the perspective of protecting your income and your assets. We encourage our employees to plan for their goals, whether short-term or long-term, as well as the unexpected.”
Calender of topics
BlackRock has a rolling calendar of topics it communicates to staff through a financial wellbeing space on its internal social media platform, poster campaigns and deskdrops.
It also hosts themed financial wellbeing workshops. An upcoming session will cover its employee assistance programme and how it can be used to support debt management, discounted will writing services and financial management workshops.
The organisation has also been working with its diversity and talent management teams to target specific communications to certain groups of staff.
Nedl says: “For instance, arranging for someone to talk to our families network about the importance of having sufficient life and income protection cover, and talking to our graduate recruits about the importance of early financial planning.”