Sleepless nights resulting from concerns about finances are estimated to be the cause of more than 17 million sick days every year1. With 33 per cent of UK families just one missed pay packet away from losing their home2 and the cost of living on the rise, isn’t it time employers did more to help?
Financial literacy is quite low in the UK. According to a survey by Nationwide, 79 per cent of people know what LOL stands for – but only 50 per cent can say for sure what PAYE means. That’s an extreme example of a wider problem. Are your staff getting into financial strife simply because they don’t understand how to manage their finances effectively?
Debt is an emotive issue; traditionally it’s a no-go area for employers
People are not comfortable talking about debt, especially with their employer. But their employer is often well-placed to help, and the benefits of doing so are clear: improved productivity, increased loyalty and reduced absences.
Most of all, you can create an environment with empowered staff – one that you can feel proud of having built.
So, how can you sensitively and subtly, help staff towards financial wellbeing?
Five practical ways to ease your team’s financial concerns
1 – Provide workshops and training from reputable providers to help improve understanding and empower your employees to make smarter choices.
2 – There are services that offer a route out of debt by loaning up to £25,000 and collecting repayments via the monthly pay packet. After the debt is paid, staff can start building a nest egg – a great step towards financial wellbeing, particularly for people with a poor credit history.
3 – Offer a tax free contribution of up to £1,000 to help staff appoint an independent financial advisor from the Money Advice Service list.
4 – Contributing the bare minimum towards an employee’s pension is unlikely to nurture a feel-good factor. If your business can afford to, reward those who save for their pension by matching higher sums.
5 – Provide income protection for staff in case the worst happens. All companies should have this in place. For families where the majority of the income is generated by one person, it’s a major concern to think about what would become of their family if the worst happens. You can really help assuage this one.
Only one in three UK employers have financial wellbeing programmes in place3
You might not be able to pay them more, but offering staff support on financial wellbeing can give you a competitive edge.
Footnote 1: HR Zone.com
Footnote 2: Shelter
Footnote 3: Howden