For Shanelle Forde, an Associate Software Developer at Prudential Financial, the most important role in her life is that of mom. “What’s important to me, at the top of my list, is my son,” she said. Working at Prudential, in her own words, “absolutely allows” her to be there for her son, without having to worry about how she’ll make ends meet.
Shanelle is just one of the nearly 1 million employees represented through companies participating in the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative, which helps companies take steps like raising wages or expanding access to benefits to bolster the financial health of their employees. To learn how those actions have impacted their lives and livelihoods, we set out to hear from workers firsthand through a compelling new video series.
This is Shanelle’s story:
Shanelle, a single mother, first came to Prudential through the company’s partnership with Year Up, an organization working to increase access to job and education opportunities for young adults. After six months of classroom training, Shanelle joined Prudential for a six-month internship and has been with the company for four years since. During that time, she’s had the opportunity to complete leadership and software training that have allowed her to level up in a way she’d never been able to before.
“One of the biggest differences I notice from my other jobs and Prudential, is how supported we are as employees,” she said. “When you support your workforce, your workforce absolutely supports you.”
Importantly, Prudential’s support allows Shanelle to come into work and focus on just that – work. A big part of that came from the company’s efforts to increase its employees’ financial literacy, she said, including access to tools to plan out retirement and other savings goals. Having that knowledge and support has been transformational for Shanelle.
“It has allowed me to be a better parent,” she said. “But it also allows me to be a better worker because now when I come to work, I’m happy. I don’t have to focus on those things like, ‘oh, how am I going to pay my rent?’ I can just come to work and focus on the work.”
Providing these resources and support for its employees also aligns with Prudential’s core business, Lata Reddy, Senior Vice President of Inclusive Solutions at Prudential shared with us. “As a company, our purpose is to make lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world. That’s why we provide a robust suite of benefits and tools that includes savings, physical and mental health benefits, dependent care resources and financial wellness offerings like tuition reimbursement to support employees to be more financially secure,” she said.
Listening to and acting on employee experience is becoming increasingly important. The stories of workers like Shanelle are a potent reminder of the power that companies have to create meaningful change for their workforce. And Prudential’s leadership is recognizing that this ultimately translates into business success.
“A decade’s worth of research shows that when workers are more financially secure, key business outcomes improve such as productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee turnover and engagement. We have been creating financial wellness tools for employers and customers since we were founded almost 150 years ago,” Reddy said. “Shanelle is a shining example of how employees can thrive with the right support and resources.”
Hear from other employees about the impact worker financial wellness programs have had on their lives:
The Worker Financial Wellness Initiative is a vibrant and growing community of business leaders dedicated to improving the financial health and security of their workers. The Initiative includes peer learning opportunities for C-suite leaders; creating resources and events for HR and compensation professionals; providing direct assistance to companies on how to develop and deploy a Worker Financial Wellness Assessment, and use it to identify areas for improvement and immediate next steps; and public opportunities to celebrate corporate leadership.
To learn more about the Initiative and how you can join, click here.