ABC News profiles McGraw-Hill FCU's employee fin. wellness program

November 25, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (11/25/15)--ABC News showcased McGraw Hill FCU’s “Financial Wellness in the Workplace” as a prime example of how an employer--especially a financial institution--is offering financial education in the workplace.

The article noted that while mega banks such Bank of America, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are still contemplating offering various levels of workplace financial education, McGraw-Hill FCU’s program is already there. And “the program goes beyond just offering information about the company 401(k); it delves into credit, debt, home-buying and budgeting,” ABC News reported.

“Folks are clamoring for this and they just don’t know where to find it,” Shawn Gilfedder, president/CEO of the East Windsor, N.J.-based credit union, told ABC News. “We do think the niche here is the workplace environment. If you ask the employees if they’d pay a sum of money to have that opportunity individually, they would say no. But if it’s offered in the workplace, they’re happy to participate.”

At McGraw-Hill FCU, employees participate in lunch-and-learn sessions on topics such as identity protection, understanding credit scores and better budgeting. About 300 employees attend in person; others take part remotely. The credit union’s facilitators have been amazed about how engaged employees are during the programs, especially as attendees deliberate over financial topics typically often considered too personal discuss with co-workers.

McGraw-Hill FCU also offers “Lifecycle Labs,” colorful touch-screen computers that help participants create a visual timeline toward their financial goals.

To help employees develop a long-range financial plan, the program offers an opportunity to meet with the credit union’s certified financial planner.

Gilfedder said the program pays for itself in the value it produces in employees’ personal lives. “Financial stress is still at the top of people’s worry list,” he told ABC News. “And I can tell you, 90% of the time, people are addressing that stress at work. Guess what? They’re sitting at their desk to do their banking while they’re at the office. Reducing that stress helps them be more productive and should make them a better employee.”