What’s it really like to work with a financial coach?

March 11, 2021

Until they’ve tried it, your employees will never know; and not knowing may be keeping them from engaging with a benefit that could literally change their lives. 

Nearly 2 in 3 adults (64%) say that money is a significant source of stress in their life

We know that Americans are dealing with significant levels of financial stress, in many cases exacerbated by COVID-19. According to the American Psychological Association, “Nearly 2 in 3 adults (64%) say that money is a significant source of stress in their life, and around half of adults (52%) say they have experienced negative financial impacts due to the pandemic.”[1]

We also know that talking with a financial coach can improve financial stress levels considerably. For example, the percentage of financially suffering employees (i.e., those with an initial financial wellness score of less than 3.0) with high or overwhelming levels of financial stress fell from 70% to 41% after talking with a financial coach as part of their financial wellness benefit.

So how can we get employees ‘over the hump’ of not knowing and get them comfortable enough to call a coach? I asked our coaching team which myths or misconceptions they believe may be holding employees back. Allow me to bust them.

Myth #1 – A financial coach will try to sell me something.
While many financial professionals are compensated for selling financial products, this is not the case at Financial Finesse. Our company is independent and not affiliated with any other financial institution and our coaches do not sell or manage any financial assets.

Myth #2 – A financial coach will judge me or talk over my head.
Fear of judgment is universal, which is why we seek coaches that have first-hand experience with common financial challenges and screen for empathy and emotional intelligence (EQ).

Fear of judgment is universal

Our coaches are motivated by helping employees make progress, no matter what their starting point. In every conversation, they aim to make financial concepts easier to understand and to build rapport. To get a sense of who is on the other end of the line, employees can “meet” our coaches here

Myth #3 – A financial coach is not trained to deal with my problems.
Some may think their issues are too simple to merit a call or too complex for us to help. Our coaches address the full range—from fundamentals to complex topics—every day. If an employee needs advice (we provide coaching only), for example on taxes or investing, we can help them find someone through objective screening—we do not have a referral network or any affiliation with any providers.

Myth #4 – A financial coach expects me to have my finances in order before we speak.
Our coaches are happy to help employees get started—no prep work required. We hope the first call is not the last. That’s why we encourage employees to reach out to get the ball rolling.

Myth #5 – A financial coach will share my information with my employer.
This one simply isn’t true. Our coaches adhere to a strict code of confidentiality and never share any information with employers as it relates to their employees’ financial health.

Myth #6 – A financial coach can only discuss benefits offered by my employer.
While our coaches often help employees get the most out of their benefits, they are by no means limited to benefits-related questions. They can help with any financial concern.

We know that the more employees interact with our coaches the more their financial wellbeing improves, but getting first-time users started can be a challenge. By understanding their concerns, you can develop a communication strategy to address them head-on, encouraging engagement and changing lives—a win-win for any organization.

[1] https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/report-october