With generous support from the W.K. Kellogg foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co., we are currently in Phase 2 of our research on employee financial wellness programs, with study enrollment having just concluded in early October 2018. In partnership with both nonprofit and for-profit wellness providers, we are conducting several pilot studies of financial coaching, credit building, and a payroll-linked, small dollar installment loan product offered to entry-level and front line employees of four home health care and social service agencies and a large US retailer. We are using quantitative analyses to assess changes in employees’ financial behaviors (e.g., paying down debt, use of financial services) and credit and debt-related outcomes based on differences in services received (e.g., dosage, digital enhancements) while controlling for employee and employer characteristics.
We are also interviewing employees and employers concerning their experiences with EFWP services – successes and challenges regarding take-up and implementation, and ways in which employees use, interact with, and benefit from the financial wellness benefits they are offered in the workplace.
From this set of pilot studies using mixed methods, we expect to generate important insights that can inform the work of financial wellness providers, employers, and funders who hope to improve the financial stability of entry-level and front-line workers.