financial wellness HRI’ve worked in the HR industry since I was a kid. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that a lot of HR ladies are broke.

This observation is sweeping and obnoxious. It’s also accurate. It’s true across all ethnicities. Across all orientations. Children or not. Married or single. Young. Old. Somewhere in-between.

Nobody seems to have any money.

It’s heartbreaking to watch HR ladies do payroll — or run an open enrollment campaign — and know that they’re living paycheck to paycheck or not contributing to retirement.

Part of this is an American thing. Our savings rate is low. Our retirement system is stupid. Part of this is gender, as well. HR still skews female, underprivileged and underserved by the systems and policies we administer.

But part of this is just bad judgment. We are ambassadors for our employees. Shouldn’t we look out for ourselves?

That’s why I’m a big fan of financial wellness programs in the workplace. Money is such an emotional distraction, and if you work in HR, you can’t afford to be distracted.

Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard HR professionals engage in horizontal envy when it comes to another person’s paycheck or bonus. And I can’t tell you how many times a human resources leader was unsympathetic to another colleague’s financial troubles.

“If I can take care of my life on my salary, she should be able to manage her life. She needs Dave Ramsey.”


Instead of being judgy, let’s be productive. Look into financial wellness programs, which give people a chance to take control of their lives. Use them, too. If we get our houses in order and start taking care of ourselves, I think we’ll do a better job as HR pros.

So all of this is to tell you that I’m participating in a webinar on “financial wellness” with Tim Sackett. It’s tomorrow. Join or don’t join, I don’t care. Honestly, it makes little difference to me. (But maybe sign up. You might learn something.)

I just hope you check yourself if you think financial wellness sounds like one of those first-world maxims that HR consultants created to make you feel bad about yourself. If anything, it’s a benefits program that will help HR professionals succeed at life.

Finally. We deserve it.


  1. That’s the value of being a personal brand and not just a company representative. You’ve done quite wonderfully here, could have just been some hr lady, but now you’re a well known name, can’t be broke.

  2. When Financial Wellness programs take employee needs into consideration they can be a great way to help employees and drive employee engagement and loyalty. I’ve seen too many folks think that driving employees to a website is enough. It is not. The employees that really need the help won’t use a website because they are scared to “look at the monster under the bed.”

  3. What Hallie said. All the talk about engaging employees rarely talks about doing it with financial wellness. It’s about time. HR likes to pretend money isn’t an/the important factor but it is.

  4. I work as an HR Asst. in a medium-sized public school district. Our new health insurance provider “gifted” us with a $50K stipend to use for a wellness program this year. We’re using a good portion to fund an online financial wellness program scheduled to kick off in August 2016. I’m looking for ideas to encourage all employees to take part in the program — it’s so rare for a public school district to have $$ for this, I don’t want ANYONE to miss out because of the fear of the above-mentioned “monster under the bed.”

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