Earned Wage Access… Not If But When
In a changing world, employers are coming to realize that there is much more that they can do to support their employees. In many cases, employees who are held to traditional monthly or bi-weekly payroll structures are experiencing increased financial stress, especially as the cost of living continues to increase. Innovations like Earned Wage Access (often called >on-demand pay) are helping to solve this challenge, and give employees the extra flexibility and work/life balance they’re looking for.
“The key to our success is our people and their commitment to our mission. Our levels of engagement, inclusion and ethics are already high, but we realize that these times have been changing, with the pandemic, the balancing of work/life, the global supply chain disruption and the increasing cost of living. All these topics have changed our lives, so more than ever, a focus on our employees’ well-being is key.”
Those are the words of Marc Ladenstein, HR Program Manager at Medtronic, a global leader in health care technology. His organization is currently exploring the potential of Earned Wage Access, and in the latest edition of the Payday Podcast, he shares his views on EWA, and where it could sit within their wider HR strategy and the future of pay.
Simplicity and support
EWA programs work best when they’re deployed in conjunction with a number of other support mechanisms, so that employees feel that they can get help whenever they need it.
Marc shares how Medtronic has attempted to focus on the customer experience of their managers and employees when using their HR services. It is important to have the right balance between people, processes and technology in place to accommodate their needs best.
Blending people and technology
Marc is keen to emphasize that technology cannot be the sole answer to all of today’s payroll and HR challenges. Given that many of the customer demands can require a customized approach for which a human touch might be needed. “We need to have processes in place that can both support our customers with a quick answer provided through technology and on the other hand have human support available in those moments that matter.
“As an example, if you look at leave, there are many different types of leave and they vary from country to country,” he explains. “Some leave topics are very easy to answer: if somebody wants to go on vacation then you could easily point them to an HR portal where they can find the local policy.
“But if somebody needs to take care of a sick family member, you don’t want to point them to a website – you want to have a human being available who they can reach out and talk to, so that they can get the answers they need as soon as they can. You need to have that human touch in place, and ideally you need that human reaching out afterwards to check everything is OK and can offer the right support when that is needed.”
EWA as a force for good
Marc can see the benefits of Earned Wage Access to employers and employees alike, hence why Medtronic is currently exploring an EWA solution with the help of Cloudpay. In time, he hopes that a more flexible approach to when employees are paid will not only support better financial well-being, but also be an employee benefit that helps with retention and acquisition in an industry where the best talent is highly sought-after.
“Next to providing payroll services to employees in 19 countries, we are also partnering with Cloudpay to see if we can get the EWA solution up and running, to add to our existing well-being initiatives,” Marc details. “EWA provides on-demand access to wages that our employees have already earned, and that basically provides our employees the opportunity to select their own payday.
“At Medtronic, we don’t yet have any experience of using any EWA solution. But from a benefits perspective, while socializing the concept, we stressed the connection with the well-being component and the talent destination that we want to be. Earned Wage Access could be a competitive advantage we can offer both to our candidates and to our existing staff to retain them.”
Listen to the full Payday Podcast to get more views from Marc Ladenstein, including how concerns among managers around the implementation of Earned Wage Access were dealt with.