It will probably come as no surprise to you that money is the biggest stressor for employed adults in the United Kingdom at the moment. What’s more, over a quarter of adults feel stressed about money every single day. This almost-universal nature of money worries means that employers have a responsibility to support their employees’ financial wellbeing. Here are seven key things you can do to increase financial wellbeing in your workplace:
- Understand the financial issues your employees face
In order to meaningfully support financial wellbeing in your workplace, it’s important to understand the kinds of financial issues that affect your employees. This will allow you to develop programmes and resources that truly serve their needs and alleviate their financial difficulties. Financial concerns vary a great deal depending on factors like stage of life, work stability and overall financial literacy. For example, while some employees may worry about saving for continuing education, travelling, and big life milestones like weddings and children, other employees might wonder how to save money to buy a home or plan for their financial future after retirement.
- Provide professional financial education resources
One of the best ways you can foster financial wellbeing in the workplace is by providing your employees with professional financial advice, either for free or at a discount. Many people do not have access to financial education resources, aren’t aware of their importance or simply do not know where to start looking for them. There are several different ways you can provide guidance on money matters to your employees. One option is including access to a professional financial advisor as part of your benefits package. Another would be partnering with a local financial advisory service and offering their guidance to your employees at a discount.
- Offer management/senior staff training so that they can support colleagues
Ideally, your business should function like a financial wellbeing ecosystem. Rather than expecting employees to improve financial wellbeing in a vacuum, it’s a great idea to invest in programmes and training workshops for senior staff & managers so that they can play a supporting role in advising their colleagues. When experiencing financial difficulty, it can make all the difference to have someone to turn to for financial advice and impartial guidance. Giving managers the tools they need to help other employees with their financial wellbeing is a great way to enrich your company community since they’re the members of staff who often support employees with things like pensions and benefits.
- Offer perks that help employees with common money worries
A great way to alleviate financial pressure and increase workplace wellbeing for employees is by putting together a benefits package that makes their salaries go further every month. There are several different kinds of optional benefits that can make a big impact when it comes to an employee’s financial wellbeing. Examples include:
- Access to special discounts
- Employee rewards and perks
- Mental and physical health insurance
- Budgets for expenses like transport, childcare and healthy workplace lunches
- Generous annual leave policies
- Assistance paying off debt
- Pay a fair salary and be mindful of expenses
Quite simply, one of the best ways to support employee financial wellbeing is by paying workers a fair wage. Not only does a good salary alleviate financial stress and improve staff performance, but it also leads to happier, more motivated employees all around. The best way to ensure that you’re paying your employees a fair wage is by keeping up to date with the average salary ranges for different positions. If you see that you’re paying your employees far below market rates, it’s time to give them a raise or rethink the way you’re organising your business.
On a similar note, be mindful of expenses as an employer. Do your best to avoid employees paying for work-related costs like transportation, meals, hotel stays, electronics, and office supplies. If employees do have to pay for any expenses up front, make sure you don’t delay when it comes to reimbursing them.
- Share information about useful financial products & services
One of the easiest ways to contribute to your employees’ financial wellbeing is by putting together a library of resources about useful financial products and services. That way, whenever your employees are facing financial issues or simply need some guidance, they’ll feel empowered to find solutions.
Some examples of useful financial products and services include:
- Online budgeting tools
- Mental health resources like online therapy and mindfulness apps
- General money management software
- Debt advice services
- General financial and tax education resources
- Investment advice and management resources
- Automated money-saving tools
- Keep the conversation going and be open to feedback
Last but not least, remember that financial wellbeing can be fluid and dynamic. Employees’ money worries and financial situations will vary depending on economic shifts, personal factors, different stages of life and lots more. That means that implementing a financial wellbeing programme and leaving it at that simply won’t get the job done. It’s essential that you keep the conversation going and be open to feedback so that you can make informed decisions about how to contribute to your employees’ financial wellbeing. Ensure that you cultivate a professional environment where employees feel comfortable talking to their managers and senior staff about financial wellbeing. They should all feel listened to when they come forward with questions, concerns and their unique perspectives.