It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through the year, and halfway through our 2023 Whole Health Initiative program. Each fiscal quarter we focus on an important area of health – mental health, financial health, physical health, and the communities we serve – providing resources, training, and a safe space for open conversations about each topic with the purpose of better serving our Continental Contractor team and their families. Quarter One’s focus was on mental health – and we invite you to read the recap of the very moving and informative education we all received in the “Safety Under the Hard Hat” post on our blog.

We just wrapped up our second Quarter Initiative focus on financial health and well-being, something that everyone has struggled to comprehend at some point in their life. As a Human Resources director, Continental team member Allyson Fisher has often found herself in the position of providing financial planning resources and information to employees scrambling to get a handle on their financial future. With those experiences in mind, we’ve asked her to offer her perspective on our Q2 Financial Health focus:

As Human Resources professionals, we often interact with employees at the highest and lowest moments of their lives. We get to offer new employment opportunities, announce promotions, and increase salaries. We also deliver unwelcome news of layoffs, help employees navigate insurance during a medical crisis, and support them through the loss of loved ones. This is why when we launched our Whole Health Initiative for 2023, we knew that Financial Well-being was one aspect that definitely needed to be included. 

Money and financial stability play a massive role in our lives and as such affect who we are at work as well as our engagement. If you have an employee who is struggling to pay bills or doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from, I can promise you that the employee is not one of your top performers. They’re distracted – and rightfully so.

The second Quarter of our Whole Health Initiative tackled Financial Wellness. After conducting a survey of our employees, we found their financial questions ran the gambit – from understanding interest to how to save for college to estate planning. 

The first of our two educational sessions offered was Finances 101. This presentation explored topics related to basic financial planning like how to determine your net worth, what a cash flow breakdown should look like, developing and prioritizing financial goals, understanding key terms associated with money management (credit, budgeting, savings and interest), and raised questions that helped participants understand their personal financial position. The presentation also covered helpful tips such as putting a financial plan into action throughout the calendar year to stay on course.

Finances 201 focused on saving for the future. According to the financial seminar speaker, most people do not have a healthy level of savings, despite knowing the importance of having money set aside for emergencies, medical bills, college, or retirement. The second presentation taught employees saving techniques that motivate and encourage setting and keeping savings goals. One strategy presented was to sort financial goals by timeline. Short-term goals of 0-3 months may include paying off a particular credit card or saving for a vacation, versus medium-term goals of 4-9 years – like saving for a new car – and long-term goals of 10+ years such as saving for college or retirement. The biggest takeaway? It’s not too late, but start now.

While not all employees were able to attend these financial wellness sessions in real-time, both sessions were recorded for later viewing. These are now powerful informational tools available to current employees, their families, and future employees!

Thank you to Human Resources Director Allyson Fisher for offering her perspective on the program. In the third Quarter we will be covering physical health and wellness. Stay tuned for more details.