What is a financial coach? 
A financial coach can help you set and reach financial goals; prioritize spending; create and stick with a budget; make plans to pay off credit card debt; and provide accountability and structure. A financial coach does not provide investment advice or help with long-term retirement planning.

What if I already offer financial advising as a benefit to my employees?
You may already be providing your employees with access to a financial planner or financial advisor. Financial Wellness Workshops offered by Workplace Money Smarts aren’t redundant to this valuable benefit – far from it! Instead, our services complement these other services, as employees feeling acute stress about their finances benefit far more from assistance with budgeting and paying down debts than they do from access to a financial advisor who specializes in retirement planning. Financial coaching can often better address day to day financial stressors such as cash flow and debt.

Are workshops in-person or online, and if online, how effective are they?
We offer either in-person or online workshops, depending on the needs of your company. While being in-person definitely adds a more personal connection, online works! Employees can ask questions or participate through the chat if that feels more comfortable. We receive great reviews either way. This coordinator sums up what we’ve heard from many: “Your program was wonderful! I loved how it was interactive even though you were on Zoom and people were writing notes the entire time. We received great feedback.”

How many people can participate in the workshops?
We have conducted workshops for groups as small as 5 and as large as 70+. We will work with your company to tailor our presentation to the size and needs of your group.

Who benefits most from these workshops?
Many people often struggle with their finances in secret, as our society often views financial information as taboo. Financial stress is not always tied to income level; financial stress can exist at all ranges of income, so you may be surprised which of your employees are dealing with financial stress. Employees for whom finances are a chronic point of stress can benefit from the peace of mind of a structured plan to either pay down outstanding debts or achieve financial goals, and the support and encouragement of a coach. Employers then benefit from employees who are less stressed — and less likely to seek other opportunities in pursuit of a higher salary to relieve chronic financial stress.

Will you tell my employees where to invest their 401K?
No, a financial coach cannot provide investment advice, e.g. how to invest their 401k assets, but a financial coach can help employees understand and optimize the benefits available to them, such as healthcare FSAs and 401(k) match programs. Often employees do not participate in these programs because they do not fully understand the benefit available to them, or they are overwhelmed by the number of choices.

How many workshops do we need to offer to get results?
A single Financial Wellness workshop will spur your employees to think about money in a new way and will provide a few specific steps they can take to start working towards achieving their goals. A series of workshops will offer more in-depth information and actions and will reinforce the messages taught in the first workshop. We’re happy to offer a “one-off” or to design a series specific to the needs of your group.

How are you compensated?
We charge a flat per-workshop fee (which varies depending on the size of your group and whether it’s in-person or online). If you choose to offer your employees the benefit of an individual financial coaching session with us, we charge a flat fee for that as well. We never receive referral fees or commissions, nor do we sell financial products of any kind. We have no hidden fees or secret pricing.

Do employees need any prerequisites before attending a workshop or participating in a coaching session?
No! Your group members can start wherever they are in their financial journey. We can help people just starting out as well as those a lot further along.

Can you describe a typical workshop format?
Workshops generally last between 45 minutes and an hour, with 10 to 15 minutes reserved for questions and answers. The workshops are fun and interactive. They include questions to ponder, games to play, and important information broken down in a way that participants can easily understand and remember.

What if my employees don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal financial information or challenges?
We structure these sessions in such a way that employees can share or not share their personal information, based on their comfort. We understand that financial information can be sensitive, and so we’ll never put any employee on the spot or push them beyond their comfort level.