7 easy steps to support the financial wellbeing of your staff

Poor financial wellbeing is a leading cause of stress in the UK and there is no doubt that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the amount of stress suffered by employees, especially with their finances. The damaging impact of this on your workforce cannot be underestimated in terms of their mental wellbeing as well as the knock-on effect in terms of their engagement, productivity and morale

Financial stress and mental health are intrinsically linked – staff with mental health issues are more likely to have problem debt and staff with problem debt are more likely to experience mental health problems

“A survey carried out in April 2020 of over 1,000 workers found 39% of them saying their financial security had worsened as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. By contrast, just 12% reported an improvement during this period.” Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

These findings indicate that there is a strong business case for supporting employee financial wellbeing.  One common misconception in the workplace is that financial stress is not the employer’s responsibility, it is down to the employee but let’s not forget the moral argument that employers should take action because it is the right thing to do

How is financial wellbeing defined?
  • Employees having the ability to confidently manage their finances
  • Employees being able to absorb an unexpected financial shock
  • Employees being on track to meet their financial goals

7 practical steps for employers to support their workforce

1. Understand their needs

Before any financial wellbeing strategy is put into place or reviewed, it’s essential to understand the needs of your workforce. Each employee will have different needs and it’s important to not make assumptions – financial stress doesn’t just impact those on a low income. Use surveys and focus groups to get a mix of feedback and data but remember to consider that an anonymised online survey may give you more results as staff may not be willing to share or admit their financial worries openly in groups

2. Access to financial education resources and tools

Put in place a financial education programme and communicate the benefits and support of your resources in the most accessible and effective way – don’t just focus on the launch of programme, remember to continually educate, engage and connect your people

3. Make it practical and relatable

Try running a real-life example of budgeting – it’s a simple and fun way to engage staff. For example, if an employee spends £2.50 a day on a takeaway coffee why not encourage them to save this money instead – savings over five days would be £12.50 growing to £50 over a month

4. Introduce an employee benefits platform with employee discounts

Help your staff make their income go further with an employee discounts benefit. It is an easy and simple way to provide savings on everyday shopping – from supermarkets and utility bills to special treats, maximising your staff spending power and stretching their monthly budget

5. Consider the benefits of salary sacrifice schemes

Introducing the right salary sacrifice staff benefits to your workforce can enable them to spread the cost of unexpected purchases such as replacing a washing machine or refrigerator. Employees can also plan home and electronic purchases with less financial stress

6. Offer an effective Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

If your organisation already has an EAP offering, audit it and ensure it’s not just a tick box exercise. Is it led by clinicians, does it include debt advice, self-help workbooks, 24/7, 365 telephone helpline and face to face counselling?  Also, ensure you are regularly signposting your people to this essential health and wellbeing tool

7. Promote your Financial Wellbeing tools

This is the most important step – if you don’t promote your financial wellbeing programme, no one will know it exists! Communicate, communicate and communicate some more – if your employee benefits platform has a communications hub utilise it for regular updates and create a buzz. An active and tailored financial wellbeing programme will engage your people and your organisation will soon see productivity and morale increase

 

To support employers across the UK, we have a range of staff benefits that can help improve employee financial wellbeing including: Lifestyle Savings – a huge range of instant discounts from the UK’s favourite high-street and online retailers all in one place, Payroll Pay®Home and Electronics, On-demand Pay, Affordable Loans, Cycle to Work, Bike Shop, Car Scheme and Health Cash Plans plus our in-house EAP programme which is led by clinicians with over 45 years of experience

Interested in learning how we can support your business and people? Get in touch and we can show you how our platform can make a difference – [email protected]

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