Part 1 – Do your employees have a financial holiday hangover? Help them manage the stress.

Blog – January 25, 2017

Part 1 of a 2-part series

The holidays have come and gone, and many of your employees are now facing the reality of just how much the budget has been blown.

When employees are stressed about money, they aren’t able to work as well, and that affects not only their productivity and job satisfaction, but your company’s

overall performance. That’s why financial well-being is an important part of a broader

employee engagement strategy.

RedBrick Health recently sponsored an expert panel webinar, Financial Well-Being: What It Is and Why It Matters, with:

  • Lauren Olson, Assistant Vice President, Financial Education Strategy, U.S. Bancorp
  • Steve Blume, Vice President – Director, Fiduciary Strategies, RBC Correspondent & Advisor Services
  • Ryan Geyer, CX Strategy & Design, Transamerica
Laure Olson

Lauren Olson

Ryan Geyer

Ryan Geyer

Steve Blume

Steve Blume






Moderated by Eric Zimmerman, Chief Marketing Officer, RedBrick Health, the panelists offered their insights into financial well-being, and how companies can be involved in helping employees reduce financial stress. Here are some highlights from the panelists’ discussion:

How are financial well-being and overall health connected? And to what extent are employers changing the way they think about their role as it relates to financial well-being?

The panel agreed that financial stress, as large a topic as it is, is a key component in overall health and well-being. “If overall health and wellness is the concern, then one of the three big rocks for all of us, as humans and employees, is our financial well-being. Financial well-being, physical well-being and mental well-being; it’s very hard to separate those three things, particularly as financial stress becomes chronic,” stated Steve Blume. Chronic financial stress can go hand in hand with physical problems and time away from work. Employers who understand this are striving to offer employees tools and resources to help them move forward in this part of their life. One way to do this is by breaking challenges down into steps as part of a larger action plan, like training for a marathon. Another is recognizing that small, everyday life decisions can add up to big, measureable or steady progress toward financial well-being.

Are personal financial habits similar to or different from other health habits such as nutrition, exercise or sleep?

“This is a habit conversation as much as it is anything,” shared Ryan Geyer. “One of the things that both saving for retirement and overall physical wellness have in common is that they are both massive ideas that are very hard to touch and grasp. What you can do with both of them is tie them to daily micro-moment decisions.” The panel agreed that the challenge is in getting people to take positive steps, one at a time. There are biases in financial decision-making, and understanding those biases—as well as increasing people’s motivation—is an important part of the process. It’s not enough that people know what they should do; there’s a behavioral dimension that must be considered as well.

What is the emerging field of behavior finance, and how is it being used to help people make better decisions in their financial life?

Behavior finance is where economics and psychology meet. As companies try to help people take positive steps to move in the direction they want to go, they are trying to understand the underlying biases in people’s decision-making. The panelists agreed that in order to help people take positive steps, they need to

  • understand how people access information
  • recognize the easiest way for them to participate in their financial well-being
  • find and offer pathways for them to increase their motivation


In part 2 of our series, we’ll take you through a few more of the webinar highlights including getting and keeping people involved in taking steps toward positive financial decisions and how to get them excited.


You can access the webinar in its entirety here. You may also access the RedBrick Health research brief Financial Well-Being: Engaging Individuals for Sustainable Behavior Change here.

To learn more about how RedBrick Health can help you add financial well-being into your well-being program, email us at [email protected] or call us at 855-776-5515.


Find part 2 here.