Want to improve employee morale, production, and loyalty?

Apr 3, 2018

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities.  Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses.  The following blog has been provided by Kristen Lomax of The Society for Financial Awareness (www.sofausa.org):


The month of April is fast approaching, which means that it’s about to be Financial Literacy Month.  This is great time to reinforce the value of providing financial education to employees subsequent to an acquisition of a privately held company to ensure proper compliance systems are in place, and to convey an employee-centric corporate culture.

While many businesses promote the value of exhibiting a customer-centric approach to business, it is actually an approach which too often neglects the most important audience – the employees.

By focusing on employee engagement across all levels and departments, employees feel encouraged to form a deeper connection with their work and their coworkers.  One important way to achieve this is by providing a coveted company-supplied benefit – financial education – to help transitioning employees and their families gain understanding and build confidence in their financial future.

Many studies show that employees who are financially distressed at the work place are less productive and spend time worrying about their stressful personal financial situation instead of working. Job security fears can be exacerbated by an acquisition event, and by simply providing basic financial literacy education to employees their productivity is more likely to increase, along with their happiness and sense of well-being.  Additionally, companies providing financial education to employees show improvements in company loyalty, decreased healthcare costs, absenteeism, workplace distractions, and turnover.  This makes a strong case as to why financial education can and should be leveraged as a cornerstone for optimizing employee performance.

Another benefit to providing a quality financial literacy program is that it helps employees develop good financial behaviors over time. The result of these positive changes in their financial lives includes increased assets, decreased liabilities, increased net worth, and confidence that they can transition smoothly into retirement.  To be successful, employees must have on-going education and a blueprint that outlines the action steps or changes that need to take place, and keeps them accountable to their goals and objectives.

Employers are also mandated that they must meet their compliance obligations under ERISA 404(c).  In order to meet the ERISA requirements, financial education must be provided that is generic and non-proprietary in nature, which means that the education provided by plan sponsors or money managers is not sufficient to satisfy ERISA requirements.  In a nutshell, employers need to provide basic financial education once per year to avoid meeting ERISA in court.

The Society for Financial Awareness (SOFA), is a non-profit organization that exists to promote financial education year round. SOFA is comprised of financial professionals who volunteer a Pro Bono service to their communities by conducting free, on-site financial educational workshops and seminars to companies, churches and other organizations.  Not only does their work in the community improve financial literacy, but for organizations with retirement plans, SOFA helps satisfy ERISA (DOL) 404 (c) requirements.

If you would like SOFA to host a FREE workshop at your company or organization or if you would like more information about the SOFA organization, please visit www.sofausa.org, or contact Kristen Lomax at klomax@sofausa.org or at (425) 200-0576.


IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.