Part 2 – Do your employees have a financial holiday hangover? Help them manage the stress.

Blog – January 30, 2017

Part 2 of a 2-part series

In part 1 of our series, we began highlighting comments from our recently sponsored expert panel webinar, Financial Well-Being: What It Is and Why It Matters. The panelists discussed how financial well-being and health are connected, as well as how behavior finance is used to help people make better financial decisions. In this post, we’ll summarize the panelists’ discussion on getting and keeping people involved in taking steps toward positive financial decisions and how to get them excited.

How can employers get and keep people involved? There’s incentivizing, but what else is out there?

Beyond incentives, the panelists explained that in order to see improvement and have repeat users, companies need to do more than educate. They need to present tools and resources in a way that will inspire people to take steps and stay involved because they want to. Making positive decisions is tied to people’s motivations and behavior. Panelists see certain approaches as key:

  • meet employees where they are, i.e., present tools in a way that works for them
  • offer recognition (extrinsic motivators) alongside prompting intrinsic motivators
  • help people get inspired, as they make daily decisions, to visualize the larger outcome and be inspired by their progress
  • gamify the experience
  • ensure the structural design factors in how and why people make decisions


“While at the end, we know that the ‘what is in it for me’ is better financial well-being—and hopefully less stress and overall well-being—in order to continue to improve and to continue to see some results and have those repeat users, it’s important for folks to think about incentivizing and to think about recognition as well,” shared Lauren Olson. “Recognition means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. That might mean getting an award in front of the entire company or an email to your boss saying that this person did a good job.”

How do we get employees excited about making good financial decisions?

Getting people to care about their financial well-being is tied to getting them excited about the end result: what it looks like to them. They need to see where they are now and where they’re headed. “. . . The reason it’s hard for people is that it requires some short-term pain for a long-term goal. All of us struggle with that; it’s just something about human nature,” added Steve Blume.

The key is building peoples’ belief in where they’re headed and keeping them confident they will get there. Confidence can be bolstered by celebrating small wins along the way. And finally, it’s essential to offer the tools in a way that appeals to people: modern, technology-tied and fun.

How can RedBrick help?

Eric Zimmerman explained that at RedBrick Health we approach financial well-being from a specific angle: engagement and behavior change. We offer purposeful Journeys that aim at specific problems tied to financial well-being. And while they’re early returns, our own research suggests that this type of behavior intervention can work when you get people focused on doing the right things, in the right ways, with the right level of support. Eric explained that RedBrick Health is seeing 80 to 90% of participants self-reporting that they’re making progress toward their financial well-being goals, and nearly half are reporting that they’re meeting their goals. In addition to Journeys, RedBrick offers coaching by experts who have been trained to apply behavior-change methods to helping people improve their financial well-being.


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.


See part 1 here.