20 February 2024
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Did you know that 62 percent of employers employ employees in debt? And that one in five households in the Netherlands is dealing with arrears? One of the reasons why that percentage is so high is because many people with financial stress are ashamed. About 80 percent to be exact. In many cases, the problem is not addressed until it is simply too late. That is, when one is already deep in debt. This is why we developed the Financially Fit program. To help people in the Brainport region earlier (and thus preventively). After all, prevention is better than cure.
The Financial Fit program started in 2020 from the Partner Fund Brainport Eindhoven. The Partner Fund has become part of Brainport for each other. On July 1 next, the Financial Fit program will fully merge into Brainport for each other and will no longer be communicated on behalf of Partnerfonds Brainport Eindhoven.
"You cannot overestimate the importance of this early warning. Often the realization that something needs to be done about the problem only comes when it has become unmanageable. On average, people only seek help two and a half years after financial problems arise, according to research by Nibud and others. At that point, the average debt burden has already reached 42,000 euros per person."
Eveline Wauters, program manager Financially Fit
By putting the Financially Fit program on the map among companies and organizations in the Brainport region. Because who has better insight into the residents than the parties who see them every day? In our opinion, employers have an important role to play in counteracting their employees' money worries. We are happy to explain what the program entails below.
1. Trainings for managers & HR professionals
The goal of the training courses is to ensure that signals from employees with money worries are noticed and discussed (in an appropriate manner).
2. Tailored communication campaigns
Every company communicates in a different way. Also about this theme. That is why we look at what suits each organization or company and develop a unique customer journey.
3. More information about geldfit.nl
Companies and organizations can connect to geldfit.nl via the Nederlandse Schuldhulp Route (NSR). Employees can take a test through this website to see how financially fit they are. They are also referred to the right help through the site. It is also possible to go through this route by phone at 0800-8115.
4. Unburdening HR staff
One of the ways we unburden HR staff is by helping them develop a customized 'Financially Fit' program. How do we raise the issue of 'Financially Fit'? What is needed? What does work? What is not working?
5. Knowledge sharing
Every year we organize an (online) HR event to share knowledge and experiences. To learn from each other. Each partner also receives a periodic newsletter with tips and tricks.
"If you have money worries and therefore are not financially fit, it greatly affects your vitality."
We can offer the above practical tools because we know a lot about the topic and are constantly learning. For example, we conduct research into employees' money worries and financial health. We do this in collaboration with research agency Markteffect and the Dutch Schuldhulp Route (NSR) partnership. For example, we distribute questionnaires, collect figures via the Dashboard and perform an impact measurement.
We also want to keep renewing our offer and become better at what we do. Consider an English-language version of the Geldfit platform. Not just a translation, but another version with extra information that is important for expats. And meanwhile, a pilot has started to schedule digital appointments via geldfit.nl. So that interested parties get help immediately and don't have to take the step of picking up the phone or sending an email. We are also developing an e-learning for managers and HR professionals. We could go on like this for a while.
The Financially Fit program, in collaboration with its partners, has developed and received various materials in recent years. We have made a selection and are making these available through our toolkit to employers in the region and the rest of the Netherlands, so that every employer can get started on the financial fitness of its employees!