Financial Planning for Employees - John Cook
Medical Center Physical Plant
For the past four years, John Cook has supervised a diverse group of 64 individuals who clean and maintain the Medical Center and its grounds. Recognizing that his employees were not taking advantage of many of the UK employee benefits, John made a 2007 New Year’s Resolution to do something to help them. “The university has a lot to offer in benefits, but I noticed that many of my employees do not participate in utilizing them. Also, some of the benefits that are offered such as financial planning were not relevant to my group of employees. They typically don’t have the kind of money set aside to invest as suggested in the seminars,” he stated. To assist him in providing information about benefits and services that were most relevant to his employees, John contacted the Work-Life Office. The Work-Life Office surveyed his employees to find out what information would be most useful. One outcome was the need for money management on a personal level, and this information was then brought to the attention of the Director of Employee Benefits & Self-Funded Plans, Joey Payne. “I approached Suzanne Badenhop, a faculty member in the College of Agriculture who works as an extension specialist for financial management, on designing a series of educational sessions on personal finance. I had worked with Sue before, and I knew she would be a great resource for this project”.
In August employees from John’s department began participating in a pilot Financial Education Series course. In addition to offering this class, John arranged for the Employee Benefits Office and the Work-Life Office to come to his work site to make presentations and offer consultations. “Many of my employees do not have access to a computer, so it is very helpful when they can receive information at the work site,” commented John. “The university may not be able to offer employees in the service area the highest of wages, but the university does offer many benefits that can make employees’ lives better. We have many good workers here and the better they feel about their lives, the more productive they will be at work.”