Addressing Employees' Number One Stressor

By: Nic Hayes

Financial concerns are the number one source of stress in America. Every day, people across the country go to work in order to provide for themselves and family; however, oftentimes, going to work and earning a check falls short of protecting the financial well-being of employees. Around 80% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Around 60% can’t afford to pay a $500 emergency bill. The current state of employee financial well-being paints a bleak picture, one in which employees are so focused on debt and basic needs that they aren’t able to save for the future. In fact, a third of Americans have zero dollars saved for retirement.


One solution to help employees manage their finances and reach their financial goals is BrightDime. They provide employees with education, tools, and coaching to better manage their financial life – taking a major burden off their backs.


Not Your Typical Financial Wellness Tool

One of the things that separates BrightDime from other financial wellness tools offered in the market is the trust that is created between them and employees they work with. BrightDime’s CEO David Stedman says, “BrightDime is completely independent and unbiased. This builds trust. Employees also trust us because we never share their data, and that trust allows us to dig into the tough issues and really help employees with their financial well-being.”


Additionally, a key differentiator for BrightDime is that their program is not static. They have spent 10 years optimizing their solution and continue to tweak and change it over time in order to bring the best results and solutions to the employees that they work with. Whenever there’s new information, BrightDime helps employees understand what it means for them.


For example, when federal student loan repayments restarted in October of 2023, to combat worries about student loan payments restarting, BrightDime offered a live fireside chat to all of their client's employees. Before the webinar, only 47% of respondents felt they were at least somewhat ready for loan payments to restart. When BrightDime re-polled at the end of the call, 93% of respondents felt they were at least somewhat ready for loan payments to restart. Having a trusted resource to offer advice in uncertain situations truly makes a difference.


Making Managing Finances Easy

Very few people would say that managing finances is “fun,” so BrightDime does all they can to make financial wellness simple and engaging for employees.


One of the ways that BrightDime simplifies managing finances for employees is through their platform which aggregates through Plaid. Using Plaid, every account that the user has can be pulled into their platform either electronically or manually. With coaches and employees connecting through the platform as well, it allows coaches to be able to see an employee’s full financial picture – their debt situation, expenses, income, everything.


At the core of BrightDime’s model is the belief that the hub of being financially successful is having a budget, so they take a two-step process with employees to create one that works for them. They begin by answering the question that most employees want to know – how am I doing this month. Using the data they have, they are able to show people a heat map of where their spending is and if it’s more or less than usual. They then use that information to move towards creating a budget that is super simple and easy to follow and track.


In addition to having a budget, BrightDime sees setting goals as important. They have three simple goals:

  1. Spend less than you earn
  2. Pay down credit card debt
  3. Create an emergency fund

By starting with a simple budget and goals, BrightDime seeks to make financial management simple and easy for the employees they work with.


Driving Engagement

BrightDime is known for high engagement, and they are able to achieve this through their mission of education.


Before BrightDime is launched with an employers, they work with the employer to create a customized marketing campaign leading up to the launch, so when BrightDime is actually launched and employees receive the initial email, they know who BrightDime is, they know it’s coming, and they are excited about it.


Once BrightDime is launched, employees can connect with a live coach who they can chat with anytime they want. These trained coaches can help employees with whatever they need regardless of their current financial situation. It is of note that their coaches are also trained in empathy so that they can truly be there to be a helpful resource and reach the goals set out by the employees no matter how big or small.


In addition to coaching, BrightDime offers monthly short fireside chats and longer webinars led by their coaches on very specific topics. By focusing on a specific topic or life event like buying a home or paying down debt, BrightDime is able to reach more employees when they’re highly motivated to learn more about BrightDime and explore their tools and coaching.


BrightDime seeks to educate the whole population, so for all employees, even those that don’t initially choose to sign up, they send out educational emails through client’s HR teams. These emails include flyers, videos, success stories, and access to live events. These communications educate and help the employees, so the people who read them can start to learn and see how they could use BrightDime.


Lastly, to keep employees engaged, BrightDime has tasks for employees to do either monthly or weekly. These tasks seek to make finance a little more enjoyable while giving employees a reason to continue to come back to BrightDime.


Benefits Beyond Finances

By helping ease the stress of a significant stressor in employees’ lives, BrightDime can increase productivity and decrease healthcare costs with proven ROI. Implementing their program can create an environment that improves the ability to attract and retain employees. "When a CEO or an HR Director acknowledges and addresses the financial stress of employees, it creates a powerful statement about an organization's culture," says Dan Comisar, BrightDime's Strategy and Growth Officer, "Our clients view financial wellness as an important part of their employer brand - and they have very effectively built this into their recruitment and retention strategies. There cannot be a stronger cultural statement by an HR leader or a CEO than expressing this to employees."


We are proud to feature BrightDime on the Granite List

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