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Why schools should prioritize financial wellbeing programs for their employees

The daily life of an educator carries endless decisions. From lesson planning to classroom management, every moment of a contract day is built around bettering students' lives. This constant balancing act of ensuring your school community is set up to succeed often leaves little room for your own needs. Days are structured around a few free moments for prep and lunch, where you often crave a few minutes of downtime. Unfortunately, that is rarely a possibility.  A student needs assistance, copies need ran, materials from the library fetched, finding a student a snack, and the list goes on and on. The flexibility of time during the school day is a gift that is not on the side of our educators. When it comes to managing their own personal life, it almost always has to happen outside of school hours. That stress from day-to-day life, compounded with the challenge of caring for others all day, wears on our educators.

 When life doesn’t go to plan, and a loss of control ensues, we find ourselves knee-deep in stress and unable to focus on the reason they became educators in the first place, impacting the lives of children. This stress sneaks up to surprise us when we least expect it to emerge. A purchase that wasn’t thought through and hurts our bank account, or an accident that comes out of the blue. When this stress is tethered to an unpredictable financial life, the smallest of catalysts destroy our peace of mind at home and in the classroom. 

 This financial stress is ever present in education at each turn. It shows up as missed assignments, educators using their prep to try to solve complex financial issues, low morale, underutilization of district benefits, and untimely departures from the profession. This reality weighs heavily on the mind of administrators around the country. 

Stress, however, can lead to action and change when funneled effectively. This is why finding clever ways to increase financial wellbeing programs at school districts can address the core problem to alleviate the symptoms. 

The narrative needs to be flipped in education. At every opportunity, administrators can use their benefits packages to show how they differ in K-12.  Districts focusing on financial wellness for employees are pivoting to a solution-oriented approach. They provide financial wellness tools to support staff in their daily financial lives. This support allows the staff in their district to leave some of the weight at the door before they enter the classroom, knowing they will have professional financial support as a perk of working in their district. 

Financial wellness in the workplace is essential to the health and wellbeing of your staff. When you provide your educators and staff with financial wellness benefits, you get a multitude of rewards in return. 

These programs create an environment where educators and staff are less stressed and more focused, reflecting directly in their workplace productivity and students' academic achievements. It's important to understand why financial wellness is vital; it cultivates trust, and in return, you see a noticeable reduction in turnover and a strengthening of your educational community's bonds. Your employees are more likely to meet their financial goals when provided with the right financial wellness tools and engaging in financial wellness activities. This leads to a more concentrated workforce committed to their work without the distractions of financial stress. Such financial wellness benefits attract employees, ensuring you draw in the best educators and staff. Implementing these financial wellness programs not only aids your employees but also amplifies your educational institution's overall success and atmosphere.

The reality, educational professionals are flush with opportunities. Many districts have 403B/401A match options, EAP programs, multiple health insurance options, and a vested pension at the end of a career to help pad retirement.

Take the avoidable stress on educators out of your district classrooms by providing financial wellness programs for employees to make make prudent financial decisions. They will stay in their positions longer and affect the change you hired them to start for your community.