WealthHabit: Embedded Learning and Quantification:
The New Architecture of Work IV
A significant portion of the workforce is underwater on their houses (11Million), behind on their monthly payments, drowning in college debt, subsidizing other family members or simply recovering from bad habits with credit cards. Financial stress absorbs time and attention during the workday (particular if it’s a crisis). One statistic suggests that financially stressed employees spend five hours a week at work on their personal finances.
While it’s grand to talk about ‘engagement’ as if everyone in the organization comes with matched baggage, the truth is different. Age, marital status, finances, sexual preference, ethnicity, gender and a host of other regional and professional variables make it unlikely that there is much in the way of uniformity in the needs of the team. Generational issues, status differences, specialization, mission criticality all give an edge to this employee’s needs versus that one’s. And, don’t forget personal; quirks.
Financial literacy may be a singular exception.
As pensions become as mythical as unicorns, every worker has to come to terms with the long financial view. That whole ‘continuing to eat after you’ve stopped working’ thing gets more important to everyone with each day that passes’s. If the Millennials ever hope to have anything like career mobility, they’ll need to somehow ensure that the boomers can save enough money to get out of the way.
WealthHabit is an Austin based provider of educational and management services for individual workers who want to take charge of their financial reality. They’re a little hard to pigeonhole because they use new tools to accomplish things that weren’t possible before. The service sits somewhere on a spectrum that ranges from wellness to benefits decision making.
Like Alex, the Benefits Counselor, WealthHabit marries contemporary technology, sophisticated simplification and a smidgen of entertainment to solve long-term vexing problems. Alex guides the employee through the maze of benefits choices with grace and humor. WealthHabit gives that same employee better means to deal with the aftermath of those decisions.
WealthHabit says that its tools are not so much about accounting as they are about behavior modification. Built on key principles of gamification and quantified-self style feedback, WealthHabit’s synchronizes and employees financial data stream and creates a way to make smart choices. Rather than an endless spreadsheet of budget items, minutia and detail, the main tool works off of a single number: this weeks disposable income.
Since the user feeds WealthHabit account details for banking, credit card and other financial arrangements, the tool can open with a single framework: you have X dollars to spend this week. The rest of the machinations are automated and appropriately hidden. The user is given education, feedback, coaching, and ways to build a leader board.
The opportunity is astonishing.
The combination of goal reinforcement, real time mobile data streams, clear choices and driving societal and personal motivations make plays like WealthHabit’s powerfully interesting to watch
Like much of the re imagination of work that we’ve begun, WealthHabit points to an emerging set of disciplines that combine personal data, training and planning for the future into a single toolset. The subjects range naturally and easily from work projects to fitness, nutrition and wellness and stretch all the way to financial well being.
The same tools that make for great project management, are the foundations of a smart, 21st century approach to life’s issues. With the data fully automated, mobile, intuitive and easy to set up, employees can focus on making the right decisions and not on getting the administrative details right. It works here for financial management, with Alex for benefits choices and will easily be translated into other aspects of work life.
The New Architecture of Work Series