Between estheticians, massage therapists, cosmetologists, barbers, hairstylists, nail artists, and more, the beauty and wellness industry has over one million employees across the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While most of these employees are passionate about what they do, many still feel the burden of stress that stems from work and financial issues outside the workplace. Luckily, employers can offer tools, like financial wellness, to help their employees with these stressors.
Sources of Stress
Before identifying the tools that can help beauty and wellness employees’ stressors, it’s important to understand the most common factors affecting workers in this industry.
- Long Hours: Clients often schedule their styling, makeup, spa, and wellness appointments when they’re not working, which means a lot of early mornings, late evenings, and weekends for the employees performing these services. These long hours may mean more money spent on childcare, a higher chance of burn out, longer hours on their feet, and an increased exposure to chemicals that may lead to health issues later on.
- Employee Wages: Similar to the restaurant industry, the beauty and wellness industry depends largely on tips from clients and not solely on the salary given by the employer. Due to the wide variety of services beauty and wellness employees provide, not every client tips the same and wages may vary from day to day and month to month.
Each employee has a different financial journey, so understanding the financial priorities of different demographics can help employers tailor plans to best meet employee needs.
Younger employees, like millennials, may feel more confident about their financial journey, but nearly 70 percent of them say they haven’t saved anything for retirement, according to a recent survey from Earnest. This lack of saving combined with other financial stressors, like paying for beauty school and rent, can take a toll on their job performance.
In contrast, older employees, like Gen X and baby boomers, are usually more focused on retirement, healthcare costs or sending their children to college.
Financial Wellness for Beauty and Wellness Employees
Full-time beauty and wellness employees may receive financial wellness benefits in the form of retirement plans and financial perks or discounts at work, but these benefits aren’t always right for them. Employers should instead individualize benefits to match their employees’ needs.
Not only are financial wellness programs customizable, they often include different communication tools to help employers communicate with employees. Older employees may prefer handouts or on-demand access to resources, while younger employees may prefer digital reminders to check their benefits.
Regardless of age, it’s likely that beauty and wellness employees need help navigating their personal finances. Taking a targeted approach with customizable resources and personalized communication can help employees better understand their own personal financial journey and address the stressors that are impacting their personal and professional lives.
About the Author: Chris Whitlow is the founder and CEO of Edukate, a platform that amplifies financial wellness efforts through data-driven insights and solutions. Edukate drives user engagement, scales with any size organization and integrates with a company’s existing benefit providers and other third-party solutions to meet individual needs. Edukate is a one-stop destination for employees, providing guidance for challenges they are currently facing, and connecting them with the employer benefits that matter to them most—all while cultivating a culture of positive financial awareness.