Employees of all ages and levels of seniority are facing tougher financial decisions than ever before. Younger workers are burdened with student debt yet are aspiring to get onto the housing ladder. Some are navigating complex decisions about how to fund retirement. So, why should employers, politicians or society worry about the money concerns of workers?
A report conducted by Close Brothers and CIPD concluded financial wellbeing not only affects employees but also business performance; costing the UK economy an estimated £120 billion, not to mention having a detrimental impact on employee mental and physical health.
One in ten workers said they have found it difficult to concentrate/make decisions at work because of money problems. One in four said money worries have affected their ability to do their job. The need to boost employee’s confidence about their financial future has never been greater. Financial wellbeing is a company-wide issue, not just something that affects a handful of workers.
Close Brothers and CIPD are not the only high-profile name doing extensive research into employee financial wellbeing; a Barclays survey found one in ten employees is silently struggling with financial woes. Staff in a “scarcity mindset” simply do not have the bandwidth to be devoted to contributing innovative and creative ideas. And while your staff may not be part of the 8% who take time off work due to financial stress, those left standing maybe one of the 19% of employees who lose sleep over it.
“The relationship between staff’s overall financial wellbeing and productivity at work is a compelling case for employers to take steps towards improving their workers financial wellbeing and so their business bottom line” says Close Brothers Head of Financial Education, Jeanette Makings.
More employers are now actively researching financial education programmes in order to provide support for employees and improve their financial capability. By educating and offering support to staff to better manage their money, business can improve the overall wellness of their workforce; simultaneously demonstrating a duty of care and refine business performance.
A good financial wellbeing strategy will be more in depth than just pensions and debt – it will have the ability to raise awareness and confidence across all areas of workplace benefits and financial wellbeing. It will make it clear where further help and advice can be obtained and how to find other saving solutions alongside those offered within the business.
It’s about creating a healthy culture in the workplace when it comes to money. Implementing a stable and effective financial wellbeing strategy demonstrates your interest as an employer, contributing to attracting and retaining the best skills on the market which is becoming hugely competitive, especially within Accounting and Finance.
With 74% of finance professionals looking to make a career move in the next 12 months, employers have developed retention efforts by revising benefit packages, working environments and work-life balance. Around 43% of Accounting and Finance professionals said wellbeing initiatives and working environment were motivational factors aside from salary in a resent Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) Member survey.
Investment in a financial wellbeing strategy is, therefore is not just a decision based entirely on employer responsibility towards employees but also a step towards boosting your bottom line.
* Lifetime Savings Challenge research 2017
** CIPD/ Close Brothers Workplace Financial Wellbeing research 2017