Don't Forget Your Moral Obligation to the Team

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 10, 2005

As an entrepreneur and employer, you have certain basic obligations to your employees, such as paying their salary, withholding taxes, maintaining a safe work environment, and providing the resources needed to get the work done. You also have a moral obligation to your team that derives from your role as their leader. You create the culture of your company and establish the values that make it a good place to work. One area that you should not shy away from is your employees’ financial health. They’re your most important resource, and it’s your job to look out for them.

America’s workforce is facing a retirement crisis: Social Security is questionable, personal savings rates are non-existent, and pension plans have gone the way of the dinosaur. As employers, I think it is our obligation to give our employees the tools and guidance to help them save for retirement. If we don’t, who else will? Think of it as almost your “paternal” duty. Give them easy access to a sensible 401(k) plan and tell them to use it wisely. Better yet, enroll them automatically and tell them to stick with it. Encourage them to increase their contributions annually, and don’t let them borrow against savings for non-essential reasons.

Lead by example and talk about retirement savings as a company. Years from now, your employees will be grateful that you did.

Jeff Seely
Chairman and CEO
ShareBuilder Corp.
Bellevue, Wash.

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