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Employee Financial Wellbeing - How can employers help?
Employee Financial Wellbeing - How can employers help?
Attracting talent 12th Mar 2019

As an employer, you might think that in paying a fair salary you’re doing your bit to support the financial wellbeing of your employees. But research by MetLife uncovering the scale of employees’ financial worries and its impact on their work might make you think again[1]:

  • 8.2m adults live with debt problems
  • 39% of employees said they are living payday to payday
  • 1 in 3 employees had unexpected time off in the last year to handle financial issues
  • 54% of 18 to 30 year olds are distracted at work due to financial worries (34% of workers overall)
  • Lost productivity from employee financial worries hits profits by 4%

For recruiters, who work in a high-pressure, target driven environment there’s already a degree of stress in their working lives. In fact, professional services came joint 4th in the top 10 industries for work-related stress according to a recent survey[2]. The same survey found monetary stress was the third most prevalent type (experienced by 45% of respondents) after work stress (59%) and family stress (46%). Financial stress results in decreased productivity and focus, so in protecting staff from financial stress you are also protecting the bottom line, as well as attracting and retaining talent.

What is financial wellbeing?
MetLife identifies four key indicators of financial wellbeing – and it’s hard to argue with them:

a)    Control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances – knowing what’s coming in and going out

b)    Capacity to absorb financial shock – such as a period without work or a family illness

c)    Confidence about meeting financial goals – such as buying a house, funding a child’s education or retiring on target

d)    Ability to enjoy life as you might reasonably expect – for example being able to afford a holiday or smartphone.

How can employers help?
Health and wellbeing support is increasingly important to employees – 38% said they would move to a company that put their financial wellbeing as a priority. Employers are also recognising the value of employee wellbeing measures with 35% offering wellbeing programmes (up from 11% in 2015). A financial wellbeing programme should have three main aims:

  • Building financial resilience

Helping employees to cope financially with ill health, injury and bereavement. Helping them plan for the future and making the most of the employer pension scheme. 

  • Increasing financial literacy

Make sure employees have the basic financial skills they need to manage their money – for example –budgeting, understanding and managing debt. You could provide access to personalised financial advice (and there are tax-breaks for doing so), workshops or coaching.

  • Improve financial behaviour

Promoting healthy financial habits such as saving to foster a long-term improvement in financial wellbeing. Well-designed employee benefits packages will use behavioural economics to structure the choices employees are required to make and ‘nudging’ them towards better choices.

With just under 116 million working days lost to stress and anxiety in 2017/18[3], and financial worries a huge contributing factor, this issue isn’t going away. In understanding the challenges that face your workforce and providing an employee benefits package which puts employee wellbeing at its heart, you demonstrate that you care and promote engagement, talent attraction and retention.

[2] The 2018 UK Workplace Stress Survey, Perkbox, January 2018

[3] Hospital admissions for stress and anxiety soar among office workers, Emily Perryman, Health Insurance Daily online, 11 December 2018.

Please remember, no news or research item is a recommendation or advice to buy. LEBC Group Ltd is not responsible for accuracy and may not share the author’s views

LEBC Group Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: LEBC Group Ltd, 1285 Century Way, Thorpe Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS15 8ZB.

LEBC Group Ltd is entered on the Financial Services Register under reference 760755.Registered in England and Wales. Company number 03995199.

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LEBC Group is a driving force within the independent financial advisory and employee benefits space. Providing support, expert advice and specialist resources, we give you the freedom, confidence and security to make the right choices. Learn more

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