Money Starts Here: An Integrated Approach to Financial Wellness

Everyone loves a win-win situation; the problem is that they are so hard to find. The employer-employee tug-of-war over pay and benefits is a prime example of how an advantage for one side requires a concession from the other.

However, that is not always the case. One woman’s revolutionary approach to delivering incisive, high-impact financial wellness programs is electrifying workplace relations, boosting productivity, and changing lives for the better.

Her name is Denise Winston and she is the founder and CEO of Money Starts Here.

Learning, Doing, Teaching

Denise was thrown in at the deep end, living on her own at the age of 16. The early series of real-world money challenges she faced laid the foundation upon which she built a three-decade career in banking and financial services.

As a banker, Denise had extensive interactions with people from diverse backgrounds and from every socioeconomic status. The encounters revealed that too many people share an uncannily similar, misinformed approach to finances. Denise simultaneously discovered in herself a natural ability to unravel these intricacies for her clients and empower them to make better money decisions.

It led her to realize that she could foment true financial freedom and bring about tangible change by teaching the basics of personal finance. Money Starts Here was a natural progression from that epiphany.

A Platform Like No Other

Money Starts Here is unlike any product or service that has come before – its cloud platform is a structured amalgamation of them all. Its focus is on education and connecting employees to the benefits their employer offers through a Workplace Financial Wellness Program.

To foster meaningful financial health, Money Starts Here programs perform as a financial resource, engagement tool, and more. It comprises a platform, a range of resources, and diverse financial topics. One of its most popular components is the online video courses that range from 10 minutes to one hour.

However, Denise has been careful to ensure the platform is completely agnostic and independent of any external product or service providers that would present a conflict of interest. Her unwavering motivation is the welfare of her clients and their employees.

The tremendous success it has achieved with clients stems from its value proposition, which straddles the interests of both employees and employers. Organizations make massive investments in benefits for their employees but their full potential is rarely – if ever – unlocked by staff.

Money Starts Here gives every employee a comprehensive overview of the full range of employer-sponsored benefits, including health insurance and voluntary benefits. It affords every individual the power to make smart, confident money decisions based on facts and data.

“Financial literacy is more important than ever, largely because the sheer variety of options can be so confusing,” explains Denise, “Without the right knowledge and skill set, employees lose purchasing power and the ability to secure basic needs. This can have a devastating effect on families, schools, businesses, and communities.”

Through Money Starts Here, every employee in the organization gains instant access to all the resources the employer has established. It grants them the freedom to fully utilize the programs for their unique financial circumstances. The system presents opportunities to learn to budget, save money for emergencies, manage debt, and avoid predatory lending practices.

Naturally, the resulting easing of the financial burden makes for happier employees who understand and appreciate the company’s commitment to their wellbeing. This, in turn, translates into a more productive workplace, which is conducive to the company’s progress.

Such objectives are invaluable in an increasingly competitive battle for the best talent. When an investment of time, effort, and energy from the company is readily apparent, it strengthens employees’ sense of loyalty.

All-Round Efficiency

The Money Starts Here formula for success is a multipronged approach. The central thrust consists of an aggregated outline of all current employee benefits. It is complemented with additional wellness products and services a company offers.

The platform is anchored in cutting edge technology, leveraging the power and reach of big data to reveal trends in employee uptake and use. Using a unified data stream, the company overcomes the problem of information and communication overload.

All participation data is transformed into actionable content which the company can use to focus its investments in benefits. The key takeaways are clarity and simplicity, two factors which are imperative to implementing any plan, regardless of organization or size.

Meanwhile, employees benefit from a responsive system that is geared to their individual priorities. Assisting employees with their most pressing financial challenges is by no means a concept in isolation. It dramatically improves communication and even accelerates overall staff participation in programs.

When staff members are healthier and better understand and use their benefits, the company’s healthcare costs and tax liability can be reduced. A similar trend often follows with disability and workers’ compensation claims.

The Money Starts Here platform contains all the basic budgeting, debt management, and retirement topics but that is just the surface of its real value. It has been designed with an integral engagement approach to keep learners motivated, too. It gives them the ability to choose their own financial path or join others in monthly online group sessions.

No Reason Not to

Once implemented, a good financial wellness program will trigger an almost immediate spike in productivity and a corresponding drop in healthcare claims. Collectively, these two factors can account for savings of tens of thousands of dollars, tangible results for everyone involved.

Conversely, delaying the implementation of a program will exact a toll on the company and the individual.

Any corporation or organization committed to building a strong, stable team of employees cannot afford to look past such cogent factors.

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