Financial wellbeing and education: How the right communication tools can help your employees take charge of their finances

Financial wellbeing – defined as employees feeling happy and secure about their finances – is perhaps the final frontier of employee wellbeing. Until recently, this vital issue has been overlooked by employers, who have typically focused on physical and mental wellbeing. But, in light of some eye-opening stats, it’s no wonder companies are beginning to offer financial education and help employees take control of their money:

  • 46 per cent of employees worry about their finances (1)
  • 33 per cent say financial worries are their biggest concern, ranking higher than concerns about health or work-life balance (2)
Fostering financial wellbeing in the workplace Raising employees’ awareness of their financial package is a core part of financial wellbeing – from bonuses to share schemes and more, the idea is to increase financial engagement by ensuring employees are aware of, understand and take full advantage of what’s available.

However, employees’ financial concerns might include anything from saving for a house deposit to paying out hefty university fees for their children. Financial wellbeing and engagement therefore needs to extend beyond the company’s package to cover general finances.

Employers can tackle this in two main ways:

  • Financial education, designed to raise awareness and help employees manage their money
  • Practical support, such as offering ISAs to staff or providing loans to help first-time buyers
The business case for financial wellbeing It makes sense that any scheme that reduces stress among employees is going to benefit the company as a whole. In this case, when employees are better able to look after their finances and reduce money worries, the business benefits from happier, more engaged and more productive staff:
  • Stress costs the UK economy over £6 billion every year (3)
  • 49 per cent of stressed employees take sick leave, compared to 36 per cent of more relaxed staff (4)
  • 1 in 5 employees lose sleep over money and believe their financial circumstances affect their performance at work (5)
  • 17.5 million working hours are lost each year in the UK because of absence related to financial stress (6)
Integrating financial wellbeing into your existing wellbeing communications To successfully boost financial engagement and wellbeing, you must consider your employees’ key financial concerns – and personalise your communications solutions accordingly. For example, employees approaching retirement may be concerned with enhancing their pension, while younger employees may be struggling to get on the property ladder. You therefore need a communication tool that caters to the diverse needs of the workforce, and flexes as their needs change.

It’s also vital that financial wellbeing be seamlessly incorporated into your other wellbeing offerings. Remember, when it comes to communicating employee wellbeing, staff don’t want to be bombarded with messages, nor do they want multiple platform silos:

  • 68 per cent of employees want seamless access to all of their benefits in a handy ‘one stop shop’ solution (7)
A good way to achieve this is through a single sign-on aggregator site that delivers a truly personalised experience to each employee, and bridges the work-home gap by giving them the knowledge they need to have informed discussions with partners.

The need for joined-up communications means financial wellbeing must become an extension of the work you’re already doing to look after employees. This was certainly true for a global financial services organisation who asked us to deliver financial education to its staff. This included:

  • Interactive PDFs and print collateral to help employees understand what was available and make more informed decisions
  • Surveys to understand more about employees’ concerns and needs
  • Recommendations for management to help them improve their offering and determine next steps
There’s no doubt employers need to look beyond physical and mental wellbeing if they want to reduce stress among employees, drive engagement and boost their employer brand. Talk to us to plan your first steps in financial wellbeing.

(1) Financial Well-being: The last taboo of the workplace? – Barclays
(2) The DNA of Financial Wellbeing 2017 – Neyber
(3) Work Related Stress Costs UK Economy Nearly £6.5bn Each Year – Recruitment Buzz
(4) Mind, Body and Payroll: Selling Financial Wellbeing Solutions – Pearlfinders
(5) Financial well-being: the employee view – CIPD
(6) The DNA of Financial Wellbeing – Neyber
(7) 51% would like a wellness allowance to support a personal approach to wellbeing – Employee Benefits