Regardless of occupation, age or income, money is something we all worry about at some point.
Some may be deeply troubled with their growing debts. Others may be shouldering huge childcare bills. Younger workers may be trying to save as much as possible to get on the property ladder, while older workers may be fretting about how much they will be left with when they finally do retire.
But is employees’ financial wellbeing something that employers should be concerned about?
The simple answer is yes!
It is often the case that employees will try to compartmentalise work life and personal life, but inevitably one will spill over to the other. If an employee is concerned about their finances, it can affect their mental and physical health, which can cause stress and absenteeism and negatively impact their performance, productivity, engagement and morale at work.
So what can employers do?
You could consider:
- Offering an Employee Assistance Programme
This gives employees telephone and online support and advice on issues such as debts, credit, loans, etc.
Small businesses may be troubled about the cost of implementing such a scheme, but it is also important to factor in the cost of absenteeism, stress, resignations and low productivity to your organisation.
If you do have an Employee Assistance Programme, make sure your employees know about it and have easy access to the contact details.
- Offering financial education
You can arrange seminars or workshops or if possible, you can arrange some one to one sessions so employees get tailored advice.
- Reviewing your employee benefits
From your employee engagement surveys, you can collect relevant information to understand the nature of employees’ concerns and think about what type of assistance could help them. For example, if many people are commuting from far away, could you help in any way with their transport or car parking costs?
- Helping them understand their pension
Offering the chance to talk to their workplace pension provider will help employees make informed decisions about saving for their retirement.
More and more employers are recognising that the key to having healthy, highly engaged and committed workers is a good wellbeing strategy. Having a clear strategy can help boost employee engagement, tackle stress, reduce sickness absence, increase productivity, retain key staff and attract a more diverse workforce. So make sure that you link any initiatives on financial wellbeing to the organisation’s wellbeing strategy.