Given the diversity of the modern workforce, customizing financial wellness benefits is essential for strategically aligning interests across demographics and driving business goals, according to the latest in MetLife’s “Financial Wellness: Creating a More Productive and Engaged Workforce” white paper series.

The second whitepaper, “Tailoring the Program,” says financial wellness is centered around four core principles: financial awareness, financial health, financial security and financial inclusion. While a comprehensive financial wellness assessment can help employers determine which program elements take priority, an effective financial wellness program should strive to meet all four core principles.

Regarding financial awareness, the paper explains that just as demographics impact the type of information and services needed, demographics also determine the best communication methods. Online learning tools might work better with some employees while others might prefer one-on-one counseling or classes. Flexibility in the way information is delivered can be crucial to employee experience and overall success of the program.

As for financial health, the paper says budgeting and financial planning tools can help employees manage day-to-day finances and protect against unplanned expenses.

According to the paper, the ability to plan and protect for milestones such as buying a home or retiring is the lynchpin of financial security. A successful financial wellness program helps employees achieve financial security by bridging short-term needs with long-term goals.

In addition, it says most employees have a deep-rooted desire to take ownership of their financial situations and feel they are making wise choices. For this reason, a financial wellness platform that makes it possible for all employees—from entry-level to high-ranking executives—to access employer-sponsored benefits is most effective because it facilitates financial inclusion.

The first and second paper in MetLife’s series may be downloaded from here.