The burden of financial debts and monetary distress on employees can jeopardise performance and productivity in the workplace. Without diagnosing the problem and offering empathy in the workplace, the financial wellbeing of your workforce can rapidly deteriorate, mitigating the quality of your service, products, and customer service.
By creating a safe space in which employees can access confidential support, professional advice, and actionable solutions, you can help provide stability to individuals and shatter the stigma around the conversation of money being a taboo subject.
Breaking into the money talk
The coronavirus pandemic continues to have an unexpected toll on personal finances as savings are whittled away to cover medical emergencies. As a result, pre-pandemic financial support systems may no longer exist now, raising the heat for employees to meet essential personal bills and keep on top of financial commitments.
Although Covid-19 death rates are slowing, past deaths may have left indents on the lives of employees. As key earners may no longer be fit or healthy to generate income or may have sadly passed, employees may be left financially crippled by the pandemic.
The Money Charity conducted a report which found that British citizens owed over £1.7 billion in debt by the end of March 2021, resulting in average household debt of £61,435, including mortgages. This staggering figure can be linked with increased pressure being placed on workers to raise funds for repayments, highlighting the power employers hold in aiding employees where reasonably possible.
Access to resources, advice, and knowledge
Building a bridge between employees and credible advisors can help navigate debt-ridden individuals through the minefield of personal insolvency. Covid-19 battered the economy, and personal finances alike, resulting in selected workers being placed on furlough. This may have triggered unexpected reductions in pay, directly impacting the standard of living for employees.
As financial security is no longer part and parcel of employment, employers need to promote a savings culture and a responsible approach to spending. By advertising employee benefits, staff can spend wisely and make savings where possible. This can add further value to the workforce and encourage conversations concerning informed spending. We run through common financial benefits offered to employees by proactive employers:
Company share schemes – If you are in the position to offer shares in the company to employees, you can reap tax benefits and grant employees the opportunity to potentially earn a lucrative return. Going on to match shares can increase popularity for the scheme and employee uptake
Workplace pension – It is a legal requirement for employers to enter employees into a pension scheme and contribute to it. By educating employees on the importance of making pension contributions, you can increase involvement and help staff save towards a more fruitful life after retirement. By matching contributions or increasing your input as the employer, you can increase job retention rates and bolster the results of your recruitment efforts
Employee rewards scheme – Partnering with an employee benefits scheme provider can unlock a host of instant discounts. Not only can this generate savings from selected retailers, but also increases motivation and loyalty for your business. This route can directly improve the financial wellbeing of staff by making a material difference in their personal lives. Exclusive perks and employee benefits can mean the difference between accepting and declining a job offer, helping prospective employees cross the line.
Where does employee mental wellbeing fit into employer duties?
The financial and mental wellbeing of employees should be a joint concern as both functions in tandem. By doing all in your power to provide professional guidance and open access to resources, those suffering from unexpected periods of mental and financial strain can attain relief.
Segregating emotions and mental health from the workplace can have drastic effects, creating a long-term, deteriorating impact on employees. Speaking openly about such topics can help stimulate open conversation and promote a safe workplace.
As an employer, you must provide a secure environment for employees, with includes considerations to mental health. For more information on how to support employee wellness, get in contact with a trusted HR advisor.
David Tattersall is Head of Client Relations at Handpicked Accountants, an online directory populating reputable and highly renowned accountants across the UK. If you are searching for an accountant near you, Handpicked Accountants can connect you with an outstanding provider and finance coach.