New White Paper Aims to Catalyze a Re-Think of HR’s Role in Employees’ Financial Lives

May 2, 2018, New York. Human resources “leverage points” and simple, efficient tweaks in HR processes can nudge employees toward greater financial health, according to a new white paper from Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, made possible with funding from Citi Community Development. A nonprofit leader in financial empowerment, Neighborhood Trust helps employers strengthen the financial health of their employees through Trusted Advisor, a financial counseling service delivered as a workplace financial wellness benefit.

The white paper “Re-Imagining the Workplace as a Hub for Financial Wellness” proposes that most financial wellness programs will be more impactful if they are more effectively embedded into everyday HR processes; and that the processes themselves are ripe for behavioral theory-influenced innovation. The report is accompanied by an HR Toolkit, a set of tools and resources developed by Neighborhood Trust and piloted at Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc., to support employers willing to implement business processes or systems change to improve the financial health of their employees.

The Toolkit leverages Neighborhood Trust’s expertise implementing financial wellness programs in the workplace to design relevant “nudges” in areas where employers can have a high impact on employees’ financial health. The four main focus areas are direct deposit, split direct deposit, 401(k) and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Neighborhood Trust partnered with behavioral science experts to identify barriers to financial wellness, as well as design solutions that help employees make and follow through on sound financial decisions, that are executable for the employer. As a result of the pilot, Goodwill NYNJ was able to increase enrollment in direct deposit and created a new HR role dedicated to supporting the financial health of its employees.

“Nearly half of Americans are making less than $15 per hour, often juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet and with very little savings for emergencies. Having a job is no longer enough to guarantee financial wellness,” said Justine Zinkin, Chief Executive Officer, Neighborhood Trust. “Employers, as well as payroll and benefits providers, have an immense opportunity to help their employees’ paychecks go further and build a financially healthy workplace given the central role the workplace plays in their employees’ financial lives. The end result is a more productive and loyal workforce.”

“Neighborhood Trust’s Trusted Advisor service allows Goodwill NYNJ to provide services that reflect our organization’s core values of ‘Mission Everywhere’ by ensuring employees have the tools they need from our HR department that empower them to make decisions to plan for their paycheck,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, President and CEO, Goodwill NYNJ. “As a nonprofit employer the business case makes perfect sense: to provide financial health for our employees is living our mission and creating great front-line ambassadors for the work of Goodwill NYNJ.”

“Although unemployment is at the lowest rate since 2000, nearly four in every ten households lack sufficient savings to endure an unexpected shock to income, such as a medical bill or car repair,” said Eileen Auld, New York Tri-State Director of Citi Community Development. “We are pleased to support Neighborhood Trust and the partnership with Goodwill NYNJ to design new tools and strategies to help improve the financial capability and resiliency of employees, particularly those living on lower incomes.”

To download “Re-Imagining the Workplace as a Hub for Financial Wellness” and the HR Toolkit, visit

About Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners

Neighborhood Trust is a leading provider of financial counseling services. For more than 20 years, we have empowered low-income individuals to take control of their finances and achieve financial health. Neighborhood Trust embeds our services in partner organizations where our services are trusted, relevant and actionable, including employers, financial institutions, community-based nonprofits, and unions. Annually we serve nearly 9,000 low- and moderate-income workers and job seekers across the country. For more information, visit

About Citi Community Development

Citi Community Development leads Citi’s commitment to financial inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals, families and communities across the U.S. Through innovative collaborations with municipalities, community groups and leading nonprofit organizations, we harness Citi’s expertise, products and services to help expand opportunity for all.

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Stephanie Ramirez
[email protected]
(212) 927-5771