61% of UK adults currently saying they’re concerned about paying general household bills, and more than a third feeling anxious about their financial situation, it’s the perfect time to check on your employees’ financial wellbeing.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in the UK – the Mental Health Foundation reports a quarter of adults have felt so anxious it stopped them from doing the things they want to do some or all of the time. In April, demand for our Employee Assistance Programme increased by 400% on the month previous, with our clients’ employees using the confidential counselling services for personal (72%) and work-related (28%) support.
It’s clear, as employers we must help increase awareness and understanding of these concerns and inform ourselves on how and why we can help support employees’ financial wellbeing and in turn their emotional wellbeing.
Financial wellbeing in the workplace
There is a clear link between financial wellbeing (or financial wellness as its sometimes referred to) and emotional wellbeing and a very clear link to the impact they can have on productivity in the workplace.
In the year to March 2023, the price of food and drink rose at its fastest rate in over 45 years and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose by 26.1% (Money Statistics). All of which impact your employees’ take-home pay and ultimately their wellbeing – how happy and healthy they feel.
Looking out for your employees’ financial wellbeing is incredibly important, and the benefits for them and you, are more tangible than you may think. Financial worries negatively impact employee productivity and absence rates, causing the ‘presenteeism’ effect. If you haven’t already, seek support to enhance your financial wellbeing services and get advice from experts.
Ensuring the financial wellbeing of employees is an important aspect of creating a positive and productive work environment. Here are some things to consider…
4 things to consider when it comes to financial wellbeing:
Encouraging open communication about financial issues can help employees feel more comfortable discussing their financial concerns and seeking support when needed. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) can provide confidential support and counselling for a variety of issues, including financial stress. Do you have the systems in place to minimise absence days and ensure workers aren’t worrying about their finances while at work?
Flexible working arrangements
Offering flexible working arrangements, such as hybrid working, flexible hours, and job sharing, can help employees save on transportation and childcare costs and help reduce the pressure they may be under from increasing costs.
Fair and competitive compensation
Employees need to be paid fairly and competitively for their work. This includes not just their base salary, but also any benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, bonuses, and other ‘perks’ Do you have an employee discounts schemein place to help your employees’ wages go a bit further? Discount schemes can provide financial support by increasing your employees’ disposable income. Can you do anything to bring salary reviews forward to help people that little bit more, sooner? Have you reached out to local businesses your employees use to see how you can support each other e.g., negotiate reduced parking fees with a local car park or a discount at a local food outlet – can you reciprocate?
Financial education and resources
Providing financial education and guidance in the workplace can help employees understand personal finance, budgeting, investing, retirement planning and other important financial topics. This can include workshops, seminars, and online resources. Where do your employees go for financial guidance? You can also signpost them to reputable sources such as Money Helper’s budget planner
Useful resources to support your employees’ financial wellbeing
Discuss Budget Builders with your employees
This one is provided by The Money Charity and it’s free and easy-to-use. It can be used to create an initial budget and keep track of day-to-day spending. It does all the calculations for you and it can be used as a way of organising money across different bank accounts.
Download our free New Ways of Saving Guide to share with your staff.
Our savings guide gives you a simple guide to share with your employees – link to it from your internal communication systems, print some copies for the break room or ask line managers to share it with their team. However you use it, it’s full of ideas and tips designed to help your employees save money.
Read: How to Support your employees to navigate through the cost-of-living crisis
Recent research from Speakers’ Corner suggests business leaders are misinformed about the causes of stress among their employees, believing they directly align with their own. Heavy workload is the number one pressure for business leaders, whereas managing financially throughout the cost-of-living crisis came out top among employees. Knowledge is power and keeping abreast of ways to support your employees to navigate these uncertain times will help inform your financial wellbeing strategy.
When it comes to financial wellbeing, information is key. By providing your employees with reliable, helpful information you’re empowering them to make informed decisions to benefit their future. This free guide answers some of the most commonly asked pension questions such as What makes pensions more rewarding than other kinds of savings? Would I benefit from combining my pensions into one? What are my options for taking my money?
Download your free guide to creating a wellbeing and engagement strategy to attract and retain staff
If keeping great staff is on your radar, our retention strategy guide will help. The guide focuses on how you can add a range of employee benefits and wellbeing services in a cost-effective way, without necessarily adding additional costs to your business.
If you’re concerned about your employees’ financial wellbeing and the impact on your business growth, chat with our experts for advice. We know the combination of reduced costs, unburdening your management team, and prioritising the happiness and health of your employees is the key to business growth. And we can provide an all-in-one solution to help.