With the UK’s economy still reverberating from a series of global factors impacting our cost-of-living, the need to support the financial wellbeing of your employees is paramount. Not just because they deserve to be free of financial stresses, but also because your business will see the beneficial impacts of having a financially secure and able workforce.
There are so many ways you can help to promote better financial wellbeing in your company, but we’ve kept it short and sweet with 3 strategic actions you can take to kick-start your journey towards supporting your employees in reaching their financial aspirations:
3 actions your business can take to support the financial wellbeing of its workers
When it comes to implementing actions to support financial wellbeing, it’s essential that your business carries out an adequate assessment to identify the main causes of financial stress in the lives of your employees, i.e. if your employees indicate that their main financial stress is paying off their student loans, then concentrating your attention on offering solid pension plans will do little to remedy their stress! Make sure to keep this in mind, and take a data-driven approach when implementing the following suggestions:
- Offer comprehensive benefits packages:
Review the current benefits packages you have on offer to your employees, and reach out to them (via a company-wide survey, or if your organisation is much smaller, you could even email them individually) to find out about their financial stresses and situations. Then offer a comprehensive benefit package that reflects those needs. This could include things like:
- Pension plans/student loan repayment plans
Encourage employees to save for retirement by matching their pension contributions and complying to the UK’s auto-enrollment scheme. Offer support to employees paying back their student debt.
- Financial literacy workshops
Consider partnering with experts to organise and run workshops or webinars that educate your employees on financial literacy. You can focus on topics like budgeting, saving and investing.
- Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)
This could be a game-changer for employees facing serious financial challenges. You could offer financial counselling or grant schemes to assist them with their money troubles.
- Offer flexible compensation packages:
If the needs of your employees differ significantly, making it difficult to tailor their benefits packages, you may consider offering a standardised benefits package, and decide to include flexible compensation packages that offer your employees greater autonomy in how they choose to work and receive work-related benefits. Examples of these might be:
- Flexible working arrangements
Allow employees to adjust their schedules or location to better accommodate their personal routines and financial needs.
- Salary sacrifice schemes
Provide options for salary sacrifice to enable employees to make tax-efficient contributions to pensions or other saving plans, or to allow employees to buy additional holiday leave etc.
- Bonuses and incentives
Encourage employee productivity and financial ambition by offering performance-based bonuses or incentives.
- Run financial wellness initiatives:
Once you have a better understanding of the financial literacy and preparedness of your employees, you can implement selected initiatives to better support them in achieving their financial goals and overall financial wellbeing. Examples might include:
- Financial counselling sessions
Seek out financial advisors and organisations to partner with and provide one-to-one financial counselling sessions and support to employees.
- Debt management support
Offer guidance and resources to direct employees in the effective management of debt.
- Savings and investment programmes
Educate employees on saving accounts, ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) and other investment options to encourage them to save their money, and make savvy financial investments.
Financial wellbeing in the workplace
Employee financial wellness isn’t just about paying your employees well; it’s about teaching them to understand how to effectively manage, and have control over their finances, so that they can achieve their financial goals. Research indicates that employees with lower financial literacy and preparedness spend a third more time at work worrying about personal financial matters than those with higher financial literacy and preparedness.
With that in mind, it goes without saying that supporting the financial health and wellbeing of your workforce has a multitude of benefits for your business:
- Enhanced productivity: employees with financial difficulties are often experiencing high levels of stress and may be distracted by their monetary situation, leaving them with less energy to be highly productive at work. By supporting their financial literacy and preparedness, you can re-engage their focus, and streamline their workplace contributions.
- Employee retention: companies that emphasise the importance of financial wellbeing tend to have higher employee retention rates. When employees feel financially secure and supported, they are less likely to seek out other employment opportunities.
- Positive company culture: showing that you care about the personal and professional development of your employees by ensuring that they are financially literate and prepared is one of the factors contributing to a positive company culture. It demonstrates that you care about the welfare of your employees, and not just about how they perform at work.
- Attracting top talent: in today’s competitive job market, the ball is no longer in the employer’s court. With many businesses in the UK stepping up their wellbeing support, employees have a better chance than ever to secure work that meets their wellbeing needs. Offering a dedicated employee financial wellness programme can make your company more attractive to top talent.
Remember to regularly measure and assess the impact of your actions
Your initiatives will amount to nothing if you don’t assess how they are impacting your employees. Running regular employee surveys, monitoring employee engagement and participation in conjunction with actions taken to alleviate financial stress, and noting changes in financial behaviours is a crucial stage to ensuring the long-term success of your financial wellbeing at work initiatives.
Prioritising the financial wellbeing of your employees is more than a simple gesture of kindness…
…it’s a strategic move that will benefit your organisation as much as it benefits your employees in the long term. By providing comprehensive benefits packages, flexible compensation options, and employee financial wellness initiatives, you will create a supportive working environment that empowers your employees to achieve greater financial security and wellbeing.