Employee financial wellbeing guide

In the modern workplace, employee financial wellbeing is requisite for a happy workforce. Without it, your team are left to struggle alone. And we all know what happens when employees are distressed.

As the economy sails through rough times, financial wellbeing in the workplace has become a topic of discussion for senior teams. A lack of employee financial wellbeing is now frowned upon and change is necessary.

What is employee financial wellbeing?

Employee financial wellbeing refers to the support an employer offers to combat challenges such as the cost of living crisis, tuition debt, commuting costs, recession troubles and other financial challenges employees experience on a daily basis.

It’s all about making life just that little bit easier to manage. This can be achieved through various forms, and the standard pay rise isn’t the only route employers can take — although it is the most popular.

In fact, we’ve created an entire guide on employee benefits vs pay rises. Here, you’ll learn how we think companies should juggle the two and the role they play in these financially challenging times.

Why should I care about employee financial wellbeing?

With the likes of a recession and the heat or eat epidemic, it’s clear that employers should step in and help with financial wellbeing at work. Ignoring these issues will result in the following for businesses:

  • High labour turnover due to employees looking for better opportunities
  • Poor workplace engagement and decreased productivity and performance
  • A deteriorating organisational culture and loss of profit due to employee output

These are just a few of the consequences employers may see by neglecting employee financial wellbeing. The economic downturn isn’t expected to disappear anytime soon, so leadership teams should be devising a strategy to support their people.

HR professionals need only look at the past couple of years. The Great Resignation and the ‘war for talent’ posed serious challenges to employee retention.

Amongst some of the reasons for departures within companies was the cost of living and flexible working opportunities — something that also helps employees save money. The signs are there, and employers must acknowledge them.

In a 2019 report by CloseBrothers Asset Management, it’s reported that 77% of employees say money worries impact them at work. It’s also said that 89% of large UK companies are impacted by poor financial wellbeing in the workplace.

Whilst this report may have aged a little, it’s still as poignant as it was a few years ago. Money worries can lead to high levels of stress, anxiety and depression which massively impacts our output at work.

According to Barnett Waddingham, money worries are responsible for causing mental health problems for more than half of UK employees.

If you know a leader who shares the opinion that “employee financial wellbeing is the sole responsibility of the employee” send this resource their way. Supporting financial wellbeing in the workplace is about being empathetic, selfless and compassionate about people.

For most scenarios, financial woes exist outside of the workplace. This leads some businesses to misunderstand their role in supporting their people.

Any aim to increase the health and happiness of employees should consider both in and outside of the working environment.

Each and every employee has a different lifestyle, emphasising the need to also support employee financial wellbeing on an individual basis. What your team get up to outside of the workplace dictates their financial circumstance.

For instance, some employees are parents, others who saving for their first home and some may have bad habits when it comes to money management.

Other may invest heavily in programmes and memberships to support their personal development and wellbeing, like gym memberships and wellness apps.

This is one reason why financial wellbeing at work is so powerful, because it recognises employee needs and helps to attain them.

What are the benefits of financial wellbeing for employees?

Whilst we’ve spoken about the negative consequences of neglecting employee financial wellbeing, what are the benefits of supporting this?

  • Reduces employee anxiety, poor mental health and stress
  • Improves personal money management skills
  • Boosts the overall the employee experience
  • Increases decision making confidence
  • Minimises absenteeism and presenteeism
  • Revives employee engagement

Of course, there are many other benefits, especially from a personal development perspective, but it’s clear: start offering employee financial wellbeing support and see both your business and team transform!

Signs of poor financial wellbeing at work

It’s only fair that we cover things you should look out along with the benefits of better employee financial wellbeing. After all, how can you go about improving this area of your business without knowing what to look for?

These signs below demonstrate the emotional, physical and mental implications that poor financial wellbeing at work can have on your workforce…

  • Lack of sleep leading to tiredness and fatigue in the workplace
  • Employees exhibit a short-temper with angry attitudes and outbursts
  • Poor decision making and concentration at the task at hand
  • Employees appear reserved and show to be unsociable
  • Not showing for work without good reason

Remember to address these issues with compassion. These problems can be reversed to bring out the best in your team members again. We recommend conducting wellbeing meetings with your team to really understand what they are going through

What will I learn in this employee financial wellbeing guide?

To better prepare HR professionals, we’ve designed a 17-page guide to employee financial wellbeing. One bursting with key insights and actionable strategies every HR leader needs to know.

Our team sat down and decided what would become a priority for business leaders in the next few years. And it was employee financial wellbeing that we all agreed would pose challenges.

In our guide, you’ll discover the hurdles your employees are liking facing with their financial circumstances. We also cover the responsibilities employers must play regarding financial wellbeing in the workplace if they are to retain talent.

From the cost of living crisis to the widening pay gap, we’ve left nothing out in this blueprint for better employee financial wellbeing. The workplace has reached a “now or never” moment. Leaders must ask themselves two questions:

  1. Do we support employee financial wellbeing to retain our talented team
  2. Do we neglect financial wellbeing in the workplace and lose talent

Question two should be a no-brainer for leaders. Employees are critical stakeholders in the business. Without them, companies can achieve very little and progress stalls.

If there’s a more critical time to begin implementing a strategy for employee financial wellbeing, there’s no better than the present.

In our employee financial wellbeing guide, we also cover a number of ways leaders can better support financial wellbeing in the workplace. The four ideas below are what you’ll read more about within our resource…

  • Creating a culture of openness and support around financial wellbeing
  • Understanding the specific needs of your employees
  • Examining current employee salaries and bonuses
  • Offering an extensive employee benefits package (like Heka, of course!)

What’s more, in our employee financial wellbeing guide, you’ll come across key statistics like “59% of employees say their current money worries prevent them from performing their best”. Eye-opening facts like this should drive every leader to take action.

Where can I learn more about financial wellbeing at work?

Whilst we strongly recommend you start with this resource, our blog is no stranger to employee financial wellbeing content!

We’ve featured numerous articles covering the importance of financial wellbeing, and six areas of employee financial wellbeing to educate your team. Because believe it or not, your employees should be knowledgeable on the following topics:

  1. Everyday spending and saving
  2. Taxes
  3. Debt management
  4. Financial abuse
  5. Pensions
  6. Benefits

Employee financial wellbeing starts with education — it’s the best support you can give to your team. Start educating them on these key areas and you will be giving them better skills to manage finances, especially in tough times.

Another great resource for learning about financial wellbeing is the Gov website. Whilst this is applicable to everyone and doesn’t specifically focus on workplace wellbeing, it’s a huge resource complete with tools and tips to increase financial wellbeing.

Download our employee financial wellbeing guide!

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