WSSA approached CoreData in 2016 to develop a robust Workplace Financial Wellness benchmark index to be published and promoted by WSSA on an ongoing basis. With an estimated annual cost of $28 billion to Australian businesses due to poor workplace wellness, the benefits of any uplift are manifold for individual employees, employers and even the government. The conclusions around Australians’ wellness were to be used to promote WSSA and the services of its members within the corporate superannuation space.
The Financial Wellness Index was developed to comprehensively measure the financial ‘wellness’ of employees in Australian workplaces by evaluating employees’ complete financial picture and overall financial health. The index was designed to be a powerful diagnostic tool and inform ways in which people could improve their financial wellbeing. CoreData worked with WSSA’s management team to design a survey tool to form the basis of the Index. The question set took into account the ability to manage both short-term and long-term needs – attempting to strike a balance between planning for immediate needs while acknowledging longer term goals (ie. living responsibly today and planning wisely for tomorrow). It also incorporated both subjective and objective measures of financial wellness.
The Financial Wellness Index was designed by CoreData to incorporate specific ‘Wellness Bands’ indicative of the position on the journey to financial wellness. Key areas of investigation included budgeting, superannuation, financial and literacy planning, risk management, planning for the future and perceptions of financial wellness. The research generated strong recommendations for moving various wellness cohorts up the curve – demonstrating the power of improving financial literacy/decision making confidence and the importance of progressive stepping blocks to financial wellness. The index can be meaningfully applied at an individual, workplace, industry or national level and is highly reliable as a benchmarking tool.