In this week’s Best Money Moves roundup, we take a look at news stories and new research studies that may impact employee benefits and HR issues. We hope you find this news roundup helpful, and we’d love your feedback.

Are you getting the most out of your financial wellness program?  New research shows that engagement rates are a better indicator of success than ROI.

These days, it’s common for companies to have some sort of financial wellness program in place. But the existing programs aren’t always effective at improving retention, increasing productivity and lowering healthcare costs. Benefits executives are starting to see why: Many employees don’t know these programs are available, and when they do, they don’t always find them relevant or engaging enough to use regularly.  

So what can you do?

“Maximizing ROI starts with knowing your employee base – age, career stage and income ranges,” says a new report by market research firm Ernst and Young. “But fostering engagement depends on more than demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of workforce psychographics [such as] how employees think and feel about money.”

By taking the time to consider employees’ emotional and intellectual responses to financial stress as well as their demographic information, employers put themselves in a better position to address the unique financial stressors their people are facing. Holistic solutions aren’t just better for employees, they’re also ultimately better for your business.

See what else Ernst and Young had to say.

Do your employees feel valued? The 2017 Getting Paid in America survey revealed that employee access to pay and benefits information could help. Read more about empowering your people.

Your employees want meaningful work. According to a new study, that means employers need to clearly communicate the company’s mission, provide opportunities for growth and foster coworker relationships. Learn how integrity and transparency impact employee experience.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated, even if we are getting into the holiday gift-giving season. In fact, helping your workers simplify the way they approach their money will reduce their financial stress in the long run. Here are 3 simple budget saves employees can put into place today.

How happy are your hourly workers? Successful businesses know what causes workers to leave, and work to keep their employees. Check out these five ways to boost employee retention.

American workers don’t understand their benefits. In fact, 76 percent make benefits decisions without understanding their plans, according to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report, and it’s getting worse. See the data.

Which benefits are at the top of your employees’ wish list? Forty percent of workers told Glassdoor that affordable healthcare is the number one perk. Here are four more.

Who are your company’s rising stars? As companies prepare for year-end performance reviews and think about goals for 2018, these emerging leaders are waiting in the wings hoping to show off what they can do. Look for employees with these four qualities.

More than half of employees with access to financial wellness programs say the initiatives have improved their health. But, according to a recent study from UnitedHealthcare, some employers aren’t stopping there. Read these five tips for starting a program that really works.

HR professionals are always looking for ways to optimize day-to-day tasks. Tech startups are actively responding to these needs, and providing innovative solutions that benefit employers and their teams. Keep an eye on these 10 HR tech companies.

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