Why financial wellbeing shouldn’t be forgotten in your workplace

Employers, when is the last time you checked in with your employees on how they’re doing financially? Or, let’s be honest, have you ever?

Apart from those awkward pay review meetings, money is rarely mentioned by employees in the workplace. According to a recent study, 29 million adults in the UK don’t feel comfortable talking about it, while almost half of them admit that finances are something they regularly worry about, especially since the pandemic hit.

Salary secrets

We’re not surprised that employees don’t like talking about money when we’re working in a society where salaries are often told to be kept confidential from the get-go.

But there are reasons why people find it difficult to talk about their finances full stop. Research has found that the most common reasons from adults in the UK include:

  • Shame and embarrassment

  • Not wanting to burden others

  • They were brought up not to talk about it

  • It causes stress or anxiety

  • They think they should be more successful than they are

The thing is, when such worries are bottled up it can have a detrimental impact on employee wellbeing.

Financial feelings

Money can affect mental health MASSIVELY, causing us to go around in one big vicious circle…

(Money and Mental Health Policy Institute)

Whether an employee is already struggling with mental health problems or not, experiencing financial difficulties can result in feelings of stress, anxiety and panic. Not only that, it can negatively impact their sleep, cause feelings of guilt and affect their relationships, which in turn can make them feel lonely and isolated.

This not only affects their personal life, but can affect their work performance too. According to research by CIPD, those who experience money worries are more prone to absence from work. At the same time, financial distress can increase presenteeism where your employees may be at work in person, but not performing to the standard they usually are.

Enough of a business case for improving employee’s financial health we think?!

How employers can support financial wellbeing

Don’t worry, we’re not saying you’ve got to give everyone a pay rise BUT we are saying you need to up your game and implement a financial wellbeing policy as part of your overall workplace wellbeing strategy. If you don’t, you could be left behind.

Nearly half of employers already recognise the need and have a support system in place. We’re not just talking about the big-bucks businesses here, small organisations with a limited budget can do their bit too. Here’s how to get started:

Do the research - it’s no good offering things like employee discounts on random goods and services that you think will benefit them. You need to gather real-data to find out exactly where your people need financial support the most.

Gathering this real-time data, doesn’t mean you have to then go and invest in such support instantly. But, what it does mean is you can signpost staff to the most relevant resources for them. It also helps to start the dialogue on money and highlights to employees that their financial wellbeing is a priority.

When it comes to signposting, there’s a wealth of guidance online. We’ve listed some useful links below to help:

Financial support is just one piece of the workplace wellbeing puzzle, here at Key Wellbeing we can help you implement a winning strategy that considers ALL elements of wellbeing. Get in touch.