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Financial concerns are Americans’ number one source of stress. For employees, financial worries affect their focus and productivity on the job, leading to profitability losses for companies. Employers have woken up to this reality in recent years, and more and more companies are investing in HR benefits that aim to improve employees’ financial wellness. Most financial wellness programs consist of specific services or products that employees can use, but a less costly approach is to fundamentally re-think the role of employees’ everyday interactions with HR processes as touchpoints to “nudge” employees toward greater financial health. Much innovation has occurred in HR processes, inspired by behavioral science, to help employees to save for retirement—e.g. 401(k) auto-enrollment. Redesigning HR processes for financial health has not been fully explored in support of employees’ other financial needs, such as smoothing volatile cash-flow, building short term savings, and paying down debt.
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