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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Herbst

12 crucial personal finance topics for corporate learning

Why is it that personal finance, a topic that most employees are dying to learn about, remains so very untouched when it comes to professional development, employee resource groups, and DEI initiatives?

  • It's hard to know which subjects to tackle first

  • It's difficult to find an approach that works for different knowledge levels

  • It's uncomfortable to admit that we don't know this stuff already

  • It's a taboo subject

In my years as the lead for my former company's women's business network, I never found any financial resources I felt like I could trust. I felt like I was being sold something. Marketed to. I also didn't feel comfortable taking the lead teaching personal finance...I was still on my own finance journey.

I've now worked with so many ERGs to help make finances simple and easy to understand. I have found that finance cannot be taught in a vacuum. It's not enough to educate employees about their corporate benefits; we must also teach them the full spectrum of building a financial plan. Until people understand how to effectively use their benefits, those benefits will remain underutilized.

Here are the essential personal finance topics all ERGs should be talking about:

  1. Budgeting Basics: Teach employees how to create and stick to a budget that aligns with their financial goals and priorities

  2. Investing Principles: Introduce the basics of investing, including different investment options, risk tolerance, and long-term wealth-building strategies.

  3. 401(k) Fundamentals: Provide a comprehensive overview of your 401(k) plan, including how to enroll, select investments, and maximize employer matching contributions.

  4. Healthcare Benefits: Help your employees maximize the value of their healthcare benefits. This includes knowing how to choose the right health insurance plan, understanding copayments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums. You should also tackle the key differences between Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), including eligibility, contribution limits, and allowable expenses.

  5. Stock Purchase Plans: Some companies offer employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) that allow employees to purchase company stock at a discounted price. Teaching employees how ESPPs work, the tax implications of participating, and strategies for maximizing the benefits of these plans can help them make informed decisions about participating.

  6. Employee Stock Options: Many companies offer stock options or stock purchase plans as part of their benefits package. Teaching employees how to navigate these options, understand vesting schedules, and make informed decisions about buying, holding, or selling company stock is essential.

  7. A deeper explanation of additional benefits: Explain in full any tuition reimbursement programs you might have, or employee assistance programs for employee's mental health and wellbeing (things like counseling, financial coaching, and legal assistance)

  8. Credit Score Essentials: Educate employees about the factors that affect their credit scores and provide tips for maintaining healthy credit habits.

  9. Debt Management Strategies: Help employees understand different types of debt and provide strategies for managing and paying off debt efficiently.

  10. Insurance Basics: Explain different types of insurance, such as health insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance, and help employees understand their coverage options.

  11. Estate Planning Fundamentals: Discuss the importance of estate planning and provide an overview of key estate planning documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

  12. Money Psychology: Create a supportive environment where employees can openly discuss financial challenges. Let your employees discuss their money philosophies -- what they've learned from their parents, their peers, and their friends. This will help people connect with one another and support each other on the journey to financial literacy.

If you're looking to create real change, consider a year-long program by tackling one of these finance topics per month! This not only promotes continued learning, it also fosters a supportive community where employees can work together to progress on their journey to financial success.

Build financial empowerment with Yield & Spread

Yield & Spread provides relatable and fun learning & development programs designed to equip employees with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate their finances confidently.  From personalized workshops to online modules, our offerings cater to learners at every level and even the playing field for everyone.

We offer group learning sessions on targeted topics like budgeting, investing, and financial planning. We organize community-building workshops where people can discuss money psychology and financial goals. We also offer deeper education, where employees can take our online, self-paced Learn to Invest & Build Wealth course as a group or individually.

Why us? Why are we different? We're a non-profit that donates100% of our proceeds to high-impact charities. We do this because we believe everyone deserves access to high-quality financial education and that finance is our superpower to making this world a better place. Managers and employees alike love our unique social mission -- they learn everything they need to know about personal finance and they also get to give back. Furthermore, they trust us because we never, ever upsell financial products.

To learn more about how Yield & Spread can support your organization's financial literacy goals, check out Yield & Spread Learning & Development offerings. Or contact us directly for any questions.


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