Breaking Stereotypes: The Future Of Finance And Tech Is (And Will Be) Women

Work culture in organizations is gradually moving towards diversification and inclusion. The current times are witnessing gender stereotypes bring identified and shattered in the wake of gender sensitization and diversity. Organizations across the globe are making concerted efforts towards the goal of equality of opportunity. Still, equality at workplaces is a far fetched dream. Take for instance the case of the US, where: 

Yet they earn lower salaries and fill up fewer seats in male-dominated professions like technology and finance. Fortunately, these stereotypes – those of women typically avoiding math, science and often all things logic – are on the verge of shattering.

A study conducted by the global research organization Catalyst stated that among Fortune 500 companies, the companies which had the highest number of women directors on board have shown better financial results and those having at least three women on their board have stronger-than-average results.

Gender Stereotyping deeply impacts the psyche and confidence of the female workforce. As per research, by the age of 6 years stereotypes regarding intellectual ability take root in girls. Girls identify themselves less with STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). At the workplace, women find a less conducive environment to hold leadership and skill-based jobs, share their ideas in discussions concerning these subjects. 

Indian Scenario: Tech

The current Indian scene has begun a positive, and hopefully soon – pretty picture: 

  • Women representation in corporate jobs has increased from 21% to 30% in a span of five years, as posted in  Zinnov-Intel Gender Diversity Study 2019
  • Females are represented higher in non-technical roles at 31%, while in technical roles their share is 26%. 
  • Only 11% of the C-suite positions are held by the women, they were represented at  20% in mid-roles and 38% in junior roles. 
Women's Day

If these stats are compared with the global figures, Indians are surely taking strides in leaps and bounds to cut across cultural misfits and gender Stereotyping issues. As per a NASSCOM study of IT professionals and middle management from companies of Europe and India, 35% of the people with specialist technology roles are women in India as compared to a mere 17% female representation in Europe. 

Several organizations like Oxfam India through its campaign Bano Nayi Soch are all in for progressive ideas that subvert the norms of patriarchy.   

In 2016, Facebook initiated recruitment practices focused on bringing in black and female workers into their workforce – in who now make up 36% of its workforce. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and the only woman on their board posits the concept of ‘leaning in’ in her recent book as the idea of being ambitious in any pursuit.  

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the CEO of Biocon and the first woman billionaire entrepreneur, reiterates that there is no dearth of talent in meritorious women and even though a small minority, they are well respected and worthy of inclusion. 

Indian scene: Finance

Women are considered excellent investors, but female representation in the finance sector remains meager. A CFA Institute Gender in Investment Management study shows a mere 11% representation of women investment professionals in the industry.  Research across the globe has proved how a culturally rich and diverse workforce delivers optimum results and lower risks for investors. Experts cite several pros of getting the women included in the workforce. 

  • Firstly, female inclusion will tend to bring in newer perspectives into the industry that can usher in a new revolution in the industry. Quality of output and decisions will definitely see improvements. 
  • Gender diversity can lead to innovations and rethinking of the old investment strategies that are sure to impact investment outcomes. 

Several initiatives have been taken to improve the involvement of the females at all levels. For instance, Young Women in Investment, India’s first initiative seeks to create female awareness and interest in the investment management industry. The initiative focuses on presenting investment as a long term viable career option to the women. The success and support of this initiative have definitely paved the way for the inclusion of females in the future of finance. 

Initiatives to Break Stereotypes

While we’re doing well, there can be several initiatives that can make the future of tech and finance into a substantial female-centric arena: 

  • Tech can be leveraged to advance gender parity and women empowerment in a number of ways. The development of the gig economy is offering a contingent workforce that is sure to lessen such gaps in the future. 
  • Unlearning the biases in our mindset and doing away with gender stereotypes will be a daunting task that would demand our attention towards sustainable and all-inclusive economic growth. 
  • A survey conducted by Unilever showed that 77% of men and 55% of women felt that men are best suited for high-stake projects. Such views deeply impact gender parity issues. Marketers and media need to stop the sexist portrayal of women. 
  • Social, political and cultural fronts should take it upon themselves to curb these formative practices of stereotyping and expose both the genders to all kinds of non-traditional fields like tech or finance to let them make their decisions rationally. 
  • There is a dire need to bridge the skill gap among women by taking advantage of digitization and tech innovations. The global “talent shortage” is currently at 38%, with the top ten hardest jobs to fill in STEM professions. The focus has to shift to building competencies and skillsets among women. 
  • Another key area of concern is the online representation of women. There are 250 million fewer females present online as compared to males. Connecting and bringing greater access to regions with no internet can bring about unforeseen opportunities and can even act as catalysts synthesizing women’s inclusion in tech and finance. 

The instilling of the right temperament among the youth holds prime importance as the majority of them make their career choices by the age of 26 as per a survey. Women do not lack in tech or finance skills and knowledge, what they lack is the proper nurturing environment enabling them to fulfill their dreams sans any bias or stereotyping. Once the institutions of today get in sync with gender equality and diversity themes, the potential and opportunities awaiting women in tech and finance can be attained.
And we can surely hope for a feminine era in finance and technology awaiting us in the near future. 

“You are fierce, bold and daring! Also, the best when it comes to caring.”
Happy Women’s Day!


Spouse In The Same Office: A Closer Look At The Implications for HR

Compiled By: Sandeep Raghunath
About Sandeep: He is the Head of Human Resources at EarlySalary, with 10+ years of international experience in HR across industries.

It is perfectly natural for a professional to fall for another if they’re working in the same office, or are spending a significant amount of time together. Open and vulnerable conversations are fairly likely to occur, and the more familiar they become with each other, the more potential there is for mutual attraction. While they may be frowned upon, relationships within an office setting are far from uncommon. Some partners even often end up getting married. 

In this context, however, the HR function isn’t expected to remain out of the loop. Organizational policies, cultural sensitivities, etc – there are many factors influencing the HR functions’ role in managing professionals with a spouse in the same office. How can they approach this? Let’s look at some important aspects.

Disclosure of relationship

It is vital to maintain an environment where it is known that keeping a relationship or marriage secret is not in the interest of the company and can have larger implications. According to Sarah Churchman, head of diversity and inclusion and employee well being at PwC, the only way to manage relationships is for the couple to be totally out in the open. “If they don’t inform us, someone else in the department will. Not because they are necessarily behaving in an inappropriate manner, but simply because they may fear a problem with favoritism.”

Some enterprises have a policy in place allowing for managers to be demoted, transferred or even dismissed in the case of the manager being in a relationship with their direct report without disclosing the same. It is, therefore, essential that an office couple is made to sign out a disclosure form with the HR Department. This allows for a line of communication between the office and the parties involved and also serves as a formal notice of their relationship. It also prevents misinformation and rumor-mongering in the workspace which hampers productivity. 

Different organizations have varying HR policies on how they deal with a spouse at the same office. If a company is strictly against work relationships, one of the spouses can be dismissed, though it would not be a popular move and discourage transparency. “You can’t legislate against office romances or indeed falling in love, and an outright ban would be totally unworkable,” says Churchman.

It is imperative for a company to have a policy on office relationships and furthermore ensure that all employees, especially spouses, get familiar with these and abide by them at all times during work hours. This includes coffee breaks, lunch breaks, business trips, etc.

Personal life and Professional life

The need to maintain a professional relationship between spouses in the same office space is vital. Often, the hardest battle in managing office relationships is inculcating the need to strike a balance between personal life and professional life. According to a research “on flirting at work” conducted by Amy Nicole Baker, an associate professor of psychology in University of New Haven, and an author on workplace romance papers, it was found that people who frequently witness other colleagues flirting often feel less valued by the company and have a decline in job satisfaction. This feeling of discomfort can also lead to many quitting their jobs. In order to prevent others from being uncomfortable and thus putting oneself under the radar. 

Spouse In The Same Office: A Closer Look At The Implications for HR
“Open and vulnerable conversations are fairly likely to occur, and the more familiar they become with each other, the more potential there is for mutual attraction”

Public displays of affection and flirtatious conversations can disrupt the working of the office and reek of unprofessionalism. It is essential to treat your spouse like a regular colleague within office hours and even in work parties, off-sites and other such events which are an extension to the office workspace.

Senior-Junior Relationship

In the case of a senior and subordinate getting married, the need for professionalism is critical in order to prevent conflict of interest. According to most office guidelines – it is necessary for the senior spouse not to be involved in the appraisal or evaluation of their partner. The two must not work together in the same department in order to curb the space for favoritism and nepotism within the workspace. There is also a potential threat to the security of confidential client information and the risk of information leaks.

To avoid the occurrence of favoritism, one spouse should be transferred to another department, and ideally, no couples should work together in the same department.


The unfortunate scenario of a married couple splitting up can have deep repercussions on their work ethic, their behavior in the office as well as the office environment itself. The disclosure form should specify what would happen to both the parties in case of this occurrence. The way two ex-partners are treated in the office also deserves attention. They might act in a more isolated nature and may be unable to maintain good performance. This situation is a nursing ground for potential blame-game and office politics. This difficult period of the employees’ life should be battled with care and acceptance. They might not need advice and might need someone to listen to them in order to clear their mind and concentrate during work hours. In case of poor performance, they should be nudged towards the direction of working better and given gentle reminders instead of indifferent statements like “Your divorce is not our problem.”
Perhaps an Employee Assistance Program to help deal with such traumatic instances is worthy of consideration from employers.


Can Millennial Stress be Resolved by Financial Wellness?

Stress is an issue bigger than ever for millennials, who are rushing ahead with their worklife, finding little time to enjoy the intricacies of life. They are not only toiling themselves with projects, preparing reports and meeting targets, but also when off the work they busy themselves worrying about their debt, savings and expenditure.  India has been, off late, a very volatile economy with companies shutting down production and filtering out chunks of employees. As such millennials are forcing themselves to work in return for poorly paid salaries and unsatisfactory job environments. In most of the cases, they are not able to manage their day-to-day expenses and have to revert to debt; while in other cases are confused about their financial course.

A whopping 76% of Millennials say they are experiencing financial stress, up 23 percentage points from 2018, according to the PwC 2019 Employee Financial Wellness Survey.

Financial stress is the top contributor in affecting employee health and morale followed by their jobs and relationships. Matching your salary with your expenses is only the tip of the iceberg, when cash flow and debt issues add to the worries. Employees are worried that they are not able to save enough and will face or are facing a financial crunch. Let’s look at the major issues hounding today’s millennials in terms of finance:

Past concerns  

With higher education becoming more expensive each year, an increasing number of new employees enter the corporate sector already laden with the burden of huge debt in the form of education loans or personal loans. As per Workplace benefits report 2017, 40% of millennials say that they left high school and college unprepared for the real world. As such they look upon their employers for the necessary guidance and help related to a majority of topics around financial wellness. 18% of millennials want more help with their student loans.

In some cases, these debts may be gifted down from one generation to another. A son may have to pay off a home loan or some other debt incurred by his father. These circumstances dilute the finances and millennials find it difficult to lay away the stress.

Present concerns

According to the 2017 Workplace Benefits Report, a significant number of Millennials say they feel unprepared to manage their finances and need help with topics across the financial wellness spectrum, including saving for retirement (43 percent), general savings help (40 percent), paying down or managing debt (34 percent), saving for major expenses (36 percent) and budgeting (31 percent). 

Peer pressure, maintaining the status quo and lavish lifestyles often lead millennials to the brink of a financial crisis if they do not plan their finances well in advance. Many are highly ignorant about how to proceed with investments; banks or mutual funds, long term or short term, commodity or shares, and a lot more. About 43% feel that they require more help with investing, 40% wanting more information on how to save taxes and 21% feel that they want to save more. It’s an additional issue when they require funds in a lump sum for unforeseen expenditure or a major purchase. They either trap themselves in instalments or else fall in a debt trap. 63% of Millennials consistently carry balances on their credit cards and two out of five have trouble making minimum monthly credit card payments.

Future Concerns

Besides provident fund schemes, gratuity and a few other benefits, employees aren’t assured adequately about their future. They remain concerned about their retirement and pension, their children’s education, medical expenses and a lot more. Pension schemes are offered by insurance firms, but which one is best suited remains a matter of concern. Career opportunities and growth also impact future and present decision making. Not surprising then that employees, especially millennials, find themselves to be dependent on their employers.

Why should employers take up financial wellness programmes?

Financial stress not only impacts an employee on a personal level, but his working capabilities and mental faculties get impacted too. Stress can be behind severe health concerns that may lead to employee absenteeism, employee turnover, and dissatisfaction. The issue of financial health becomes of utmost importance to keep the solubility of the firm intact on one hand and to achieve common organisational goals on the other. As per a survey, an employee spends 12 hours on an average each month stressing about their finances. 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch report says that the lack of confidence in financial matters affects Millennials’ workplace behavior. On average, employees spend 3 work hours each week (12 hours per month) dealing with financial stressors.

A well thought of and structured wellness programme may act as a tonic for the employees’ financial health:

#1 Making an in depth study of employee concerns before finalising on the mode the financial programme is critical. Not everyone shares the same crisis, and not everyone will desire third party approvals or advice before taking decisions. A financial assessment is essential before you initiate the program and want it to succeed. This can be an eyeopener for those employees who may have been unaware of the causes of their financial stress and will make them ready to adopt the new financial course.

#2 Educating employees about financial health and other resources should be taken care of as well. This can be one through seminars, online courses, or even lectures and classes conducted by an expert or professional.

#3 The employees must be educated on healthcare costs as well. It doesn’t hurt to take this opportunity to promote healthier lifestyles as well. This can save them a lot in the long run. Group insurance schemes and health insurance schemes should be encouraged as a norm in the organisation.

#4 Financial debt management, especially the management of student loans, is another area of focus. Employers, if possible, could even consider taking it upon themselves to sort out the education loan or debt of the employees as a gesture of goodwill. This can be offered as an employee benefit as well. Executed right, the company can go a long way in earning the reputation of being the best in class when it comes to their employees’ welfare.

#5 Then comes the basic question of managing the current expenses such as installments, deductibles, premiums and other expenses. There are several paradigms involved in financial planning and it can be overwhelming for a millennial who has just been placed on his job.

Encouraging employees to take part in these programmes and letting them get involved through participation, and one on one discussion will assist them in reducing their financial stress. The overall focus of the employee can shift to organisational task boosting his productivity and overall efficiency. At the individual level, it will boost their confidence to manage their current expenses and plan for their future expenses in advance. Financial wellness programmes can, therefore, help in improving employee health and quality of life. A healthy and financially sound human resource can be an unending source of profitability and efficiency for any enterprise.

Investment Guide for First Jobers

Compiled By: Ashish Goyal, Co-Founder and CFO at EarlySalary
About Ashish: As CFO, Ashish oversees the overall strategic direction of the company and focuses on building the funding profile to ensure that it is diverse and deep. In this role, he is responsible for building EarlySalary’s business, strengthening EarlySalary’s position. He oversees the integration of EarlySalary’s overall growth strategy with Co-Founder Akshay Mehrotra.

The first job is the first chapter of our career that not only gives you economic independence, but it also teaches you to be more responsible for your family’s needs and your own goals. To be on the road to financial wellness, it’s a good idea to start planning about how you can invest your salary. Here’s how you can do it:

Focus on Enhancing Earning potential

As a principle, focus on how to increase earning than focus on spending curbs. When we focus on earning, we generate compounding of permanent increase in annual income potential. Go for that skill upgrade training, take that complex project at office!. Needless to say, be passionate in what you do. In today’s world, keeping pace with technology change is absolutely essential to remain relevant. 

Similarly, in order to invest efficiently, it is highly important to have a good stable source(s) of income that allows you to stay in a financially secure position.  It is imperative to invest for long term. In today world, one need to take SIP option to build continuous allocation of funds towards saving and in right asset classes.   

There is an old adage that “not taking risk is the biggest risk”.

Invest in Skills

Going down a swift river without any direction, guide, or awareness of what’s around the next turn is a similar analogy of not investing in yourself, but with more negative consequences in life  Things could go well for a while, but you’ll eventually remember you made the wrong decision by not investing in your skillset. You must make a strategic and diligent investment in a roadmap for achieving your career goals in order to prevent unforeseeable incidents to happen. 

One of the most effective ways to advance your career is to actively develop your skill set. Being able to demonstrate fresh, creative ideas would make you more productive at your current job. Read more books, listen to people who inspire you, build a healthy routine and always keep learning and enhancing your skills! A simple trick to achieve this. Just like we do corporate planning and review, Block 2 hours on 1st of every month to plan and review your long term objective. Assess whether you are on the right path to achieve full potential or it need some change

Spend less than income

The most essential personal finance rule is to spend less than you make. It’s plain and straightforward: the only way to accumulate wealth is to have an abundance of money. Save money, be careful with finances, avoid debt, and avoid doing something careless with your financial resources. But remember, Focus on increasing income potential and then spend less. Other way round will just put us in a mediocre outcome. 

In no way, you should compromise on your life style, ambition to own something however, use rising income to support it. How can your income be 5 times is the most critical question one needs to ask regularly

The amount of value an individual produces determines his or her income. Your earnings are directly proportional to the amount of value you generate. You can’t win consistently if you don’t work hard, but working smart is also important. 

You can save a lot of time by working smart instead of doing extra work that yields marginal outcomes. The scalability factor is vital; it distinguishes the wealthy from the ultra-wealthy. Hence, make sure you question yourself frequently about what you can do to multiply your income and work upon it!

Start SIP in an equity mutual fund early in your career

SIPs, or systematic investment plans, protect you from a variety of risks. Short-span risks,  uncertainty, irrational and reckless responses, overspending, and so on are a few of them.You don’t have to think about timing your investment when you invest in a SIP strategy. When market conditions are favourable, your monthly SIP purchases fewer mutual fund units. 

When the markets are down, a monthly SIP of the same volume earns you more units. As a result, you do not pay very high prices for any unit of a mutual fund in the long run. SIP plans are one of the best and most effective ways to invest money in Indian equity markets.

Have experiences

Experience allows you to live life with memories.  In today’s world, you no longer need to buy things to experience it. I recommend that on high ticket purchases, we should carefully evaluate “why and do I need to buy it”. If it is for experience, you can find a deal to fulfill it without owning it up. 

Also, when you live to experience, Your personality is made up of the places you’ve been, the lessons you’ve learned, and the experiences you’ve had, rather than your belongings. Purchasing a new item will not change your life, but travelling and living in a foreign country will.

Buy Critical Illness Policy

Critical illness insurance offers extra protection in the event of a medical emergency. Since these situations sometimes result in higher-than-average medical expenses, plans pay out cash to help cover the gaps where conventional health benefits can fall short. These plans are reasonably priced. 

We need to set long-term agendas for our lives, just as we do for our days. Financial objectives involve preparation, and the sooner you begin, the better. Bagging the first job is a milestone achieved. It is the start of a successful career and places you in a real, raw world setting. 

In sum, rule 1 is always looking to enhance income potential. Rule 2, focus on income, not on spend BUT, always spend less than income on that day. 

Combating tough times together!

Let us first say, we hope that you, your family & loved ones are healthy and are taking all the necessary precautions to continue staying safe

This is a challenging time for all of us and our hearts go out to everyone affected by wave two. This time, we have seen that a large number of team members, friends and family from our immediate circles have been directly affected. The second wave is hitting us hard with the health care system struggling to bounce back across the country. We are closely monitoring the evolving impact and are striving to comply with the guidance and regulations from government and public health authorities across the country along with trying our best to help as many people as we can. We have personally reached out to many of you requesting for help regarding plasma, beds and medical care for many of our team members and family in other locations. It has been overwhelmingly heartening to see so many friends, family, colleagues stepping out and going beyond their means to help.

Currently, we would like to share a message of solidarity with all of you and bring in an oath to help and show compassion and togetherness. No storm can last forever; it will never rain 365 days consecutively. Keep in mind that troubles come to pass, not to stay. Do not worry!  

We are committed to meeting this challenge by focussing on three priorities – safety, business continuity and lending a helping hand to those in need. The well-being & safety of our team members, partners and customers is our topmost priority. We are implementing procedures to safeguard our employees while continuing to best serve our clients while extending our support to the needy.

Lastly, let us reiterate that we are all in this together, and we will get through it together too. Please do reach out to us in case of any help needed for your near and dear ones. We’ll try our best to collectively sail through this. 

Akshay & Ashish

How to select the right AC for your budget

Summers can be difficult, and in major parts of India can sometimes literally overheat your body, peace, and comfort. Therefore these days, it has become a necessity to have an air-conditioner at home. But getting them is not the easiest deal. After all, you have to look through all the different ACs and their features and then select one that fits your budget. The question is how to select the best one and get one within your budget, or with the help of an instant online loan for ACs? You can use the ideas mentioned below to find the perfect AC for your needs.

The type of AC

Air conditioners are mainly available in two configurations, a window AC or a split AC. Both of them have certain pros and cons. While windows ACs are generally cheaper and easier to install, they can be very noisy. On the other hand, split ACs make less noise but are more expensive and difficult to install. Even though window ACs are not as energy-efficient as split ACs, it doesn’t need to have two units (external and internal) installed due to its mono-block design.


You certainly want your room cooled enough for your comfort, and that too in minimal time. The capacity/tonnage of the AC is determined by the size of the room, the average temperature in your region, the number of heat sources, the number of windows, and certain rules of thermodynamics. You can use the given chart below to determine the required capacity of your AC. If your total score is higher than the recommended scores in the chart, you could use multiple cooling units instead.

Energy Efficiency

The more stars you see on the BEE star rating scale for an AC, the more energy-efficient it is. Although it comes with its cons, given that higher ratings would mean a more expensive unit, you must consider the long-term benefits. A 5-star AC can be up to 35% energy efficient over a 1-star AC, which means it cools more efficiently with a lesser amount of electricity consumed. You could always cover up shortfalls in your AC budget with a hassle-free instant cash loan, ensuring a comfortable stay at home without breaking the bank.

Inverter vs. Non-inverter ACs

Inverters operate by converting DC (direct current) into AC (alternating current). Traditionally ACs double-task by converting AC from the electric socket to DC to operate and then converting power back into AC for the compressor (external unit). This is a less efficient model, as the compressor always either ran at full power or was turned off. Inverter ACs are dynamic in switching frequencies, allowing the compressor to run at different levels according to the room’s current temperature, thus working more efficiently. However, inverter ACs can be more expensive and take more time to cool, given the complex circuitry.

Other factors

There can be additional features to consider before getting an AC. This could include the type and efficiency of the air filters, heating capabilities for chilly winters, the ability to set a timer, etc. The more features an AC has, the more expensive it will be in general. However, with an online cash loan, you could easily choose the best AC for your needs without worrying about emptying your savings for it.

After choosing an AC, what now?

After considering all these factors, the next logical question would be how to get an AC within your budget. It’s best not to go cheap on build quality, as an AC is an integral part of your home, and repairs can take out a good chunk of your time, comfort, and finances. With an instant online personal loan, you could easily finance the best possible high-quality AC for your needs. Once you have decided on your perfect AC unit, you can look for multiple ways to finance that, like getting an instant online personal loan, online cash loan, or a salary advance. If you are looking for a hassle-free instant loan covering air conditioners, look nowhere else but EarlySalary. EarlySalary’s personal loan for your AC is transferred directly to your bank account and can be applied online with minimal paperwork, with high approval rates.

There are no hidden charges or prepayment schedules; you can get your personal loan for AC as low as Rs.9 per day hassle-free. There is instant disbursal up to Rs. 5, 00,000 for your AC loan amount; a flexible repayment tenure ranging from 90 to 730 days.

 To know more, you can reach out to us on:

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Download the EarlySalary app here, or log in to our website and be a part of the #OneSmallStep experience.
Source: AC Buying Guide – How to choose the best air conditioner

Easy tips to improve credit score

Compiled ByVimal Saboo, Chief Business Officer at EarlySalary
About Vimal: He is a Chartered Accountant and comes with an experience of 22 years in banking and credit domain. In his current role at Earlysalary, he focuses on building the Credit Risk Profiling system and spearhead Credit Risk, Analytics, Collection & Operations.

Having a good credit score is extremely critical. After all, it works as a key factor for banks and financial institutions while providing you with a loan or a credit card. A credit score is a 3 digits numeric number ranging from 300 to 900, and it is assigned to every individual who has availed of a credit product, based on his or her credit/loan behavior over the period. In India, credit history is maintained by credit bureaus that are licensed by RBI. Currently, there are 4 credit bureaus in India, and they are TU CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, and CRIF Highmark. Each of these credit bureaus has its own algorithm to assign a credit score to every individual.

The score is generated based on an individual’s credit repayment behavior over a period. All of us need to maintain a healthy credit score as it determines our borrowing capability. A healthy credit score would be in the range of 700-900 depending on the credit bureau. Generally, all lenders look at credit score and credit report before giving out any credit product, be it secured or unsecured. Maintaining a healthy credit score also gets you a lower interest rate on your loans.

Easy tips to improve your credit score

● Paying loan EMI’s/credit card bills on time

If you pay your loan EMI or credit card bill on time, your credit score would be healthy over the period.

● Never pay just the minimum amount due

In general, you should make payment of your credit card bills either in full or at least pay more than the minimum due amount. Paying the minimum due amount on credit card bills reduces your chance to improve your credit score.

● Maintain credit card limit utilization below 60-70%

Avoid utilizing your credit card limit to its fullest, as it impacts credit score negatively. If you happen to utilize the limit completely, you should make sure that the payment is done in full/part to bring the limit utilization down to 60-70%.

● Avoid unnecessary inquiries for loan/credit card

Applying for a loan at multiple platforms or lenders creates a footprint on the credit report, and multiple inquiries at credit bureaus for a loan, that too within a short period, will impact credit score negatively. You should not keep looking at loan/credit card options unless it is necessary.

● Good mix of credit product

Always maintain a good mix of both secured (home loan/auto loan/2wheeler loan etc.) and unsecured (personal loan/credit card/consumer durable etc.) loans. A good mix improves the chances of having a better credit score. Although, having too many unsecured loans should not be preferred.

Sometimes, you might receive a wrong credit score or there might be a mistake in your CIBIL report. It is not impossible to correct CIBIL report mistakes if you know exactly when and how to resolve them, but it is always recommended to check your credit score well in advance as there is no way you can correct the report at the last minute.

You should always keep looking at your credit bureau report periodically for any wrong reporting done by lenders. If you find any wrong reporting, you should raise the dispute and take your concern to credit bureaus for correction.

As a responsible borrower, you should manage the finance well and repay the loans/credit card on time to have a good credit score. Sometimes, even though you are aware enough, you end up missing the due dates to clear your credit card bills/loan EMIs. Repetitive mistakes like this and multiple outstanding loans can lead to a very poor credit score. It is always advisable to clear your loans/credit card bills rather than paying high rates of interest with increased delays.

How do You Build Successful Work Teams? A Financial perspective

Financial wellness has recently gained importance to build successful work teams. And for good reason. After all, financial stress harms both the professional and personal lives of your employees, and by extension the organization too. According to a report, financial stress results in a 34% increase in tardiness and absenteeism. Along with being stressed, employees who worry about money also miss almost twice as many days per year compared to other members of the work team. Financial stress can also lead to increased presenteeism, where employees come to work despite being physically or mentally unwell. 

While it may seem less bad as the team members are physically present in the workplace, after all, presenteeism seriously affects organizations and can cost them a lot of money.

Why is financial wellness important for work teams?

Happy & healthier employees

Financial stress can result in a wide range of health problems for your team members, varying from depression and anxiety all the way to heart problems. In other words, if you can take your work team’s financial worries out of the equation, that’s one step closer to a healthier and happier workforce. 

Apart from the fact that financial stress affects an individual employee’s morale and health, it will eventually also weigh on their team members and other colleagues.

Productivity loss

When financial stress can lead to an increase in absenteeism, presenteeism, and ill employees, it’s no real surprise that it affects their productivity as well. A survey done among more than 10,000 Americans shows that US companies lose $500 billion a year due to their employees’ personal financial stress. 

How to build successful work teams?

Financial wellness programs

The concept of a financial wellness program has evolved due to the exponential growth in the complexities in the field of personal finances. Along with the abundance in the availability of personal finance options, financial wellness programs are essentially aimed at providing effective assistance to all the team members in meeting their personal finance goals. 

From identifying the diverse needs of your employees to having a robust feedback mechanism, financial wellness goals can be tangibly set up to assist concerning matters like financial goal setting, consumer credit building, financial crisis management, personal and household budgeting among others. Providing such programs can be an integral step to build successful work teams.

Introduce Financial Tools

One of the best ways HR can build successful work teams is by introducing financial literacy tools and financial wellness tools in the workplace as a means to teach and guide them. This is important in making the team members understand their finances better, look out for investment options and even get them out of a personal financial crisis. 

Educating your work team about the foundations of personal finance, ways to build healthy financial habits and personal wealth, and making them aware of concepts such as quick instant loans and salary advance loans is one of the best ways to help them. By acquiring a good understanding of their finances, they will be able to make better and more informed decisions regarding their savings.

Smart Budgeting

Smart budgeting and automated investing are associated with the execution of the financial plan drawn up by employees. Digital tools serve as constant reminders and act as a platform that enables easier investing. It also helps in keeping financial plans on track and enables HRs to build successful work teams. 

Smart budgeting platforms and applications can help keep a track of the monthly expenditure and finances, and automated investing platforms can help in the automation of the transfer of a pre-decided amount from a checking account to a savings account. Hence, it saves all your employees time.

Know about the wants of your team members 

PwC report in 2020 stated that even though young employees of the team stated that job security is the most important factor when it comes to financial wellness, for older aged employees it was found to be healthcare facilities and lower healthcare costs. It is mandatory to see and measure your employee’s financial wellness to build successful work teams.

Address health-related issues 

It is unlikely for all your team members to share common health-related concerns. People belonging to different generations will have different health issues and goals. While for an average youngster, it might be to stay fit and have a toned body, the same might not be the concerns of a comparatively old-aged employee. 

Their preferences would rather be tie-ups with hospitals and having rebates on healthcare services. Therefore, it is quite important to consider these factors to build successful work teams. 

Know about their financial commitments

Repayment of student loans could be one of the most pressing issues for the younger employees in the team. In fact, as many as 80% of this generation consider it as the most important factor stopping them from achieving financial wellness. 

However, for the older generation in the workspace, offerings such as easy housing loans, post-retirement benefits, etc., might be of more significance. Therefore, it is important to understand their financial goals and liabilities to be able to effectively build successful work teams. 

The financial condition of your team members 

Understand your employees’ position when it comes to savings to combat the problem of financial stress. According to the PwC report (2020), as many as 67% of the younger employees had less than $1000 in savings while the number was significantly lower in older members of the workforce. 

It is important to educate your work team about the latest financial tools and services available, such as salary advance loans and quick personal loans. HR leaders need to support and help their team members in financial planning and must build successful work teams. 

Quick personal loans and salary advance loans are some of the options that could help work teams plan their finances better, and help them when they’re in urgent need of financial assistance. The solution provided by HR should include modules and sessions for educating, planning, investing, carried out by financial experts and advisors to help them reach their goals. At EarlySalary, we offer various options for financial wellness for your work teams, such as salary advance loans, personal loans, and financial wellness solutions.

It is important to help your employees plan their savings, and provide them with comprehensive training concerning personal finance management, to build successful work teams. 

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Best personal finance books for 2021

None of us are born as financial experts, but having some command over how to manage money is crucial for everyone’s lives. This pandemic has been further testament to this fact, and it has become crucial to learn everything you can about personal finance. In our opinion, personal finance books are an amazing place to start  learning some basic principles to be utilized in our day to day lives. 

In this post, we, at EarlySalary have curated a list of 5 Personal Finance books that is a must read for everyone looking to learn more about personal finance. 

1. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?

Author: Cary Seigel

The author realized that schools ill-equipped their students regarding handling their own money. This is when he decided to undertake writing this book and therefore, sharing 99 principles of personal financial management. The good thing about the book, even though it was written for school children, anyone can master his 99 principles by reading this book, remember one is never too old to learn anything new. 

The principles are divided into 8 broad chapters quite digestible under 200 pages encapsulating various ideas and tips. It covers topics including budgeting, housing, and investing presented in a painless way that even a high-schooler could grasp. It is not a textbook, but a story of his personal experiences. The basic question a young adult would have regarding personal financing is covered in the book.

2. Rich Dad Poor Dad

Author: Robert Kiyosaki, Sharon Lechter

How can one miss this book while talking about personal financing? This book is more like a memoir with attached lessons for the readers on personal finance. The author walks the readers through his childhood reminisces talking about his not-so-wealthy father and one of the richest residents of Hawaii, the father of one of his friends. He compares to show managing money when you lack it, basically using the best of one’s means. It advocates financial independence, financial literacy, and building wealth by investing in real estate, assets all while increasing one’s FQ (financial quotient).

This book was initially published in 1997. Later on, on the 20th anniversary of the book, a newer updated version was launched which compares life today and 20 years ago, making it an insightful read.

3. I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Author: Ramit Sethi

The author Ramit Sethi while talking about personal finance outlines a six-week plan for living one’s ‘rich life’ as he would define it. This book is best for setting up systems that enable you to build wealth, make a plan, and also help with strategizing with your money. 

The readers are walked through various steps like automating everything, starting investing, optimizing your credit cards to get maximum rewards, and starting a conscious spending plan. It is said to be one of the building blocks for learning about personal finance. It is an easy-to-read book and if you implement the ideas in your life, highly actionable too while gaining better returns.

4. Broke Millennial

Author: Erin Lowry

This book is aimed at the millennials, people who are in their 20s and 30s, one of the initial pit stops of making personal financial decisions. The tone of the book is quite approachable and makes it easy to read and understand. It won’t scare you away while you are looking for solutions to pay off your debt or planning for the long-term future. It not only touches on several aspects for the target age group like investing and saving for retirement but also talks about the emotional relationship with money which the generation has in respect to having faced several financial hurdles like the 2008 crisis or the present pandemic of 2020-21.

The book is a step-by-step guide to smart and savvy money management. Going beyond just the basics, Erin Lowry tackles tricky money matters and most of the situations we face in real life. The advice given is quite simple with additional true and hilarious stories related to personal finance management.

5. Nudge

Author: Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

There are multiple decisions we take every day. And all these decisions impact our life and wellness in some or way, including how we use and spend our money. Therefore a couple of good choices would already mean better financial management. This book talks about that, how things work in the brain when it comes to making decisions. It acts like a manual helping you to do things differently, take better decisions which would help you with money matters. Behaviour is something which we can control, and Nudge helps us in correcting those controls.

What did you think of our list? Did we miss out on any of your favourite books? Do let us know through our socials.

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How to negotiate a lower interest rate on loans?

Before sanctioning a loan to somebody, banks (or other lenders) consider many factors such as your loan amount, your repayment capacity, your credit score, etc. Given all the constraints, you should make sure you meet all the requirements and try to get a lower interest rate on loans. Here are a few ways that could help you achieve that.

Maintain a good credit score

A credit score of 750 and more is going to give you a better chance to get a lower interest rate on loans. This could be done gradually by clearing your bills, debts, and dues on time, every month. Maintaining your credit utilization ratio within the 30 percent limit can also be an added advantage. Along with this, checking your CIBIL Report for mistakes, maintaining a healthy credit mix of both secured and unsecured loans, etc., too can help you get a lower interest rate on loans. You should also monitor your guaranteed or co-signed loan account to ensure timely payments, as delayed or missed payments can affect your credit score along with that of your co-signer.

Maintain a good repayment history

Instead of paying just the minimum payment amount on your credit card every month, try to pay the bill amount in full and clear off your debts. You should also follow up on other EMI payments and other loans. With a good EMI repayment history, you will have a better chance of negotiating a lower interest rate on loans with the lender.

Compare interest rates, look out for seasonal offers

Based on your requirement and eligibility, visiting an online financial marketplace can help you compare and choose the best option for you among various lenders. You can also check with your current lender if they are offering any offers during the festival season or if they have any scheme that provides a lower interest rate on loans. It might be beneficial for you to avail of a loan from your lender during such times. 

Check the interest calculation method

Despite the lender providing you with a lower interest rate on loans, you might actually end up paying a higher interest amount at the end of the loan tenure. This is because of the method of calculating the interest, and it differs for every lender. You might be provided with a loan at a flat interest rate, where the payment of interest is calculated on the full loan amount throughout its tenure, or at a reducing interest rate, where the payment of interest is calculated on the outstanding principal, where EMIs gradually reduce the principal amount. Therefore, availing of a personal loan at a “reducing” rate could provide you with a lower interest rate on loans, than a “flat” rate.

Credibility of employer

People who are working for reputed or multinational companies will be more eligible to get favourable deals. Their employers’ ability to provide a steady job is higher and therefore the lenders come to a conclusion that the borrower is more likely to have a  stable income to repay the loan dues on time. Thus, it will be easier to get a lower interest rate on loans.

Your employment history

Having a good job, residential stability, and maintaining good FOIR (Fixed Obligation to Income Ratio)  will help you in building a good credit score which partly impacts the interest rates too. FOIR is the debt-to-income ratio and it is the most commonly used parameter by lenders to determine the loan eligibility of an applicant. Few banks require you to have an employment history of at least two years, including a minimum of one year with your current employer. People who are employed with state or central government organizations are looked at favourably by lending institutions and have a higher chance of getting a lower interest rate on loans.

Ask for the same rate new customers get

If you are a person with a good credit history and no missed repayments, you can contact your lender and ask them about the interest rate offered to new customers, and get the same interest rate for your loan as well. Few lenders might be willing to negotiate to retain their existing customers.

Make sure you’re the ideal borrower

Give yourself the best chance to negotiate for a lower interest rate on loans and be the borrower banks love to lend to. Lenders generally look for a number of things before calculating your interest rate. They are:

  • A low LVR. Loan-to-Value (LVR) is the ratio of the first mortgage line, as a percentage of the total appraised value of the real property- (A higher LVR over 80% may hinder your negotiations)
  • Good credit score and no missed repayments
  • Steady employment

One should always check the service terms offered by various lenders before zeroing in on any lender. Make sure you base your decision not only on the interest rate offered but also on loan tenure, fees, loan amount, etc. You might not get a good deal if you have already taken too many loans. Your application might even get rejected if your CIBIL score is below 700. With the help of a Salary Card, you can now maintain your credit score, and be eligible to get a lower interest rate on loans. 

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Should we use a housing renovation loan to finance home renovation?

Building your dream house is possibly the most anticipated as well as the most financially burdensome task you might undertake in your life. In recent times, with the COVID-19 lockdown, our homes became our office, our gym and essentially a safe sanctuary for all of us. 

Our home, as often said, is the extension of our personality and sensibilities. To keep up with the changing times, and your evolving tastes, house renovation becomes pivotal. However, home renovations can be a very expensive affair, especially if it involves specially curated furnishings or the services of an interior designer. 

Here’s why you should opt for a personal loan for renovation:

  • A house renovation loan does not significantly impact your savings 

Since home renovation can put a huge dent in your savings, it is sensible to take a personal loan for renovation. It does not disturb your financial planning or empty your savings account, and home renovation loans in India are easily available from almost all banks and NBFCs. 

In fact, you can plan your home renovation loans well in advance by using tools like the Home renovation loan calculator to exactly know how much money you’ll have to shell out in EMIs so that you can plan the home renovations accordingly. 

  • House renovation loan does not usually require collateral 

Since it is in the form of a personal loan for renovation, it is usually unsecured and hence there is no requirement to provide any form of collateral or security. In most cases, a simple legal agreement or bond is sufficient. In fact, in case of home renovation loans online from lenders like EarlySalary, even that process is simplified. You just need to meet some basic eligibility criteria and you are good to go. 

  • Easily available online home renovation loans 

With the advancement in the FinTech sector, a huge number of NBFCs have cropped up who offer online home renovation loans without any hassle. You just have to satisfy certain basic eligibility criteria and upload a few KYC documents online, and the online home renovation loan is approved in a jiffy, while you sit in the comfort of your home. This significantly reduces the hassle of filling out multiple forms and signatures, and cuts down on multiple trips to the bank, which might make social distancing difficult.

  • Home renovation loan in India have fast approval rate and quick disbursal

As a corollary to the preceding point, online lenders have an extremely simplified application procedure, with next to no paperwork. The approval and the disbursal of the home renovation loan amount also happens instantly. For instance, if you take a personal loan for renovation from EarlySalary, the entire loan amount, ranging from eight thousand to five lacs, is approved and directly disbursed into your bank account. 

  • Personal loan for renovation gives you flexible repayment options 

Personal loans for home renovation are not only easier to get but also offer a lot of customisable options. Firstly, you can plan your home renovation loan in India by using the Home renovation loan calculator to plan your repayment. Furthermore, online lenders like EarlySalary offer you customisable options like: 

  1. Flexible tenure of repayment, from 90 days to 730 days 
  2. Option to auto-debit of the EMIs directly from your bank account
  3. Option of pre-payment or early repayment of the home renovation loan without any foreclosure charges or pre-payment penalties. 

House Renovation Loan – The right choice? 

At the end of the day, financial goals for everyone are different and their ideas about financial planning can be poles apart. There is no straitjacket formula which can give a conclusive answer as to whether or not you should go for a house renovation loan. 

However, the above mentioned points do make a compelling argument in favour of availing a housing renovation loan. In today’s time, online home renovation loan can be easily availed and used to make your idea of a dream house come true. Log on to the EarlySalary website and start your journey towards your dream house today. 

So, get started on the EarlySalary experience now!

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What are the ways to earn more credit card points?

Credit card points and rewards are a way of “rewarding” the loyalty of the customers by banks and other credit card companies. This is mainly done to cultivate good spending habits amongst credit cardholders. The interest on credit cards is pretty high ranging between 30%-60%. Missing or delaying a payment brings you the added penalties, late payment fees, and damaged credit score. Your credit score can even be affected by paying just the minimum due amount every month (check your credit score here). 

Then what is the right way to earn more credit points?

The right way to use your credit card and earn more credit card points is to make as many credit card transactions as possible and clear your monthly bills on time. If you fail this, even the best credit cards promising the best rewards will end up charging 30% or more interest. 

So, no matter what purchase you make, at the end of your card billing cycle, you should be able to pay it back. You should never have a partial payment on your credit card and end up paying interest on your spending. Now let’s see what are the ways to earn more credit card points.

Best ways to earn more credit card points

  • Go cashless, swipe for things that don’t charge a fee

Using your credit cards instead of a debit card or cash for transactions, and paying back your card at the end of the billing cycle, is one of the simplest ways to earn more credit card points. All the small purchases together when aggregated, ends up getting you rewards and bonus. For example, paying your WiFi bills and Netflix subscriptions through your credit card, instead of a debit card that doesn’t earn any points.

  • Use online shopping portals

Using shopping portals for online shopping can be a great way to earn more credit card points. 100s of brands such as Apple, Nike, Gap, etc., are available through portals. You can shop as usual through the merchant’s website, but before you do that, you will just need to take one extra step of navigating to their online shop through a link affiliated with your frequent flyer account. When you do that, a cookie is put in your browser to track your shopping activity, in turn crediting you with miles correlated to your purchase.

While this seems to be an easy option, sometimes your shopping expenditure might turn out to be really hefty to pay back the credit card bill, especially with the high rate of added interest. Instead, making use of a Salary Card can be more helpful. With a credit limit of up to Rs. 5,00,000, you can use the card for all your shopping needs with 2 times more limit, and availability of up to 6 EMIs.

  • Pay for your colleagues, friends, and family

Great offers are available on credit card payments at various merchandisers. Even though you are not planning to make use of the offer, think about how it might be used by people around you. See if your friends, neighbors, or other people around you are interested in using the offer. By making the purchase on behalf of them, you will end up earning more credit card points and they too will be rewarded by the discounts and offers. You should always avoid lending the card and instead, make the purchase on their behalf, and it is best to collect money from them in advance to avoid any problems further. 

  • Take on office expenses with your rewards card

If you have expenses at the office for which you need to pay first and collect from the office later, then you’ve found a way to earn more credit points. You can use your credit card for the following reasons:

  • Booking business trip tickets
  • Paying for team and business lunch, dinner, etc
  • Cab and travel expenses
  • Hotel stay during office travel
  • Business software and subscriptions

In case you are concerned about late reimbursements from the office, and missing the payment of your credit card bill, then you have one less thing to worry about. You can make use of a Salary Card that provides you easy EMI options with lower interest than a credit card, to clear your debt.

  • Insurance, Home Loans, Investments, Rent

There are a lot of places where you can use your card, instead of paying with cash or a debit card, UPI, or net banking. You can, later on, pay the money back into your card. Few such areas are:

  • Insurance payments
  • Home loans that let you pay through credit cards
  • Rent (check out paying the rent with CRED)
  • Utility Bills
  • Online Groceries 

Groceries and dairy products are something that everyone buys almost every day. Instead of making separate payments every day, making weekly or monthly payments for them through your credit card can get you more points on your credit card. They open up room for more offers and discounts too. For example, Amazon runs weekly and monthly rewards programs for various purchases made through credit cards.

Make the best use of the rewards structure available

Learn and understand the various rewards programs and rates offered by your credit card. Some of the best credit cards have multiple programs that offer you rewards through which you can earn more credit card points

  • Balance transfer option

From time to time card issuers run balance transfer programs that may give you points for transferring the balance from one card provider to another. Make use of it. End of the day, if you are planning to pay back the card, you may as well earn more credit card points and payback.

  • Travel rewards and Air miles conversion

Not just reward points, some cards will let you earn more credit card points and convert them for air miles. From time to time, they even give you a bonus % when converting rewards points to Airmiles. When using this, make sure the air miles value is the same or more than the value of your rewards points. There are a lot of cases where they hoodwink you and give you cheaper air miles that are worth a fraction of your reward points.

  • Statement Credit

Few rewards credit cards such as SBI and Axis, provide you statement credit on meeting spend criteria. By timely tracking them, you can make use of them and earn more points on your credit card. Even if you are not spending enough, see if your friends or family members have any large purchases coming up, that you can complete using your credit card.

The bottom line

There are several ways to earn more credit card points, but you should never spend more than you can repay. You might want to use your credit card everywhere just to earn more credit card points, but you should also remember that your credit score might get badly affected if you do not pay the bills on time. You can always rely on travel loans and shopping loans for your expenditures. 
In case you wish to have a huge credit limit, a salary card can be your savior. You can use this for shopping, travel and entertainment, educational purposes, medical insurance and even learning new skills. Unlike credit cards, they come with easy EMI options and you will get to choose your repayment tenure. An added advantage, you will not be damaging your credit score too.

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What can HR do to ensure successful retirements?

Retirement isn’t just about employees ending their careers at the respective organization, it’s more than that. The old guard exits the organization while new blood comes in. The vision of retirement involves much more than a simple goodbye. Many teams look exclusively at the financial aspects though, but this pandemic has taught everyone that efforts can be made for a smoother transition.

Here are some strategies and tips to consider for the HR function.

  • Overall Development: Retiring members should be given opportunity to talk to and guide their successors. Knowledge silos whereby the knowledge remains stuck in one place should be avoided and an inter-departmental ideas exchange should take place. Appreciation for other departmental workers can help reduce any future chaos or sub-standard work causing a dent in the organization’s financials. 

Consider periodic retirement assessments to understand how many retirements may take place in the next period so that you can focus on getting replacements and giving a seamless transition to the retiring employees.

  • Don’t undervalue the old guard: Respect the experience your retiring employee has given you and give adequate value to them, even in their last few days. This will let the employees know that you care about them, and they would willingly be ready to share their knowledge and experience with the new blood. This will help in organizational efficiency and will not let a vacuum take place once they retire while someone new comes in. 
  • Choose the better conversation: Rather than being blunt like asking them if they are planning to retire soon or if they are ready to transition to that life, ask them what they plan in their retirement years. Try suggesting to them things they can do to enjoy their after-work life. Talk to them with a positive mindset. The relationship with your employee is what is positioned at the highest level of meaning and purpose. It’s about the journey and not the destination. 

As an HR manager, try participating in that journey to enhance the employee experience. Investing in that experience can assist the organization reap better benefits as the employees will be motivated more to work better, even in their last days.

  • The greatest gift of flexibility: Rather than gifting them a parting gift like a retirement watch or stationery, gift them flexibility. Try creating a creative retirement program for your employees focusing on flexibility as an important factor. The idea is to create something without future expectations or pre-set notions of limitations. 

Find the right tools and resources; engage your employees to design such a plan which will allow the employee to have a seamless transition. You can also get a dedicated career coach. They would help the employees with the self-assessment for in-depth retirement plans. They can help ‘think out of the box’ while considering ‘normal’ retirement plans. You can also consider an alternative to full retirement plans like consulting or as a trainer for the organization.

  • Drafting a succession plan: Once your present employee retires, you need to find a suitable fit to replace them. Rather than just focusing on age, gender, or a particular characteristic; we should focus on finding similar or better skill-sets to help with their roles and responsibilities. This plan would disallow any kind of self-limits and create opportunities while searching for replacements for the retiring employees.

Try utilizing similar strategies before it’s too late. Get on with different programs like What Are Employees Truly Expecting from Financial Wellness Programs?. Early Salary has many blogs and ideas which can help you going ahead Planning for Retirement Extending Financial Wellness Into Retirement, With Technology Financial Wellness – All about having the financial freedom to make choices.

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