Financial wellbeing: The conversation you need to get right

Chris Andrew
By Chris Andrew

In 2016 the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) brought out a landmark report, Growing the Health and Well-being Agenda: from first steps to full potential. As well as highlighting the importance of employer support for physical and mental health, the report called attention to another pillar of employee wellbeing. Finance. 

Financial insecurity impacts productivity. One in four workers told the CIPD that it affected their ability to do their job, while the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute found that employees with money worries are 50% more likely to report performance-affecting signs of poor mental health. A third reported lack of sleep. 29% reported problems with concentration. 55% said they’d achieved less at work.

So, there’s a compelling business case for supporting financial wellbeing. But how do organisations ensure that this topic receives proper attention, and buy-in from all employees? 

To find out, listen to the latest episode of the Caburn Hope podcast, featuring strategy Director Chris Andrew in discussion with our special guest: Eileen Ng, Reward Manager for the APAC region at eBay. Or, for a short overview of how to start increasing financial wellbeing in your workplace, read on! 

Four steps to boosting financial wellbeing in the workplace

1. Find out what your employees need to know 

There can be big variations in the levels of financial literacy throughout a workforce. Before you put together any financial wellbeing strategy, it’s important to understand both the practical and the emotional issues that this subject can provoke, as well as the level of financial knowhow amongst your employees. 

This means using listening exercises, surveys and focus groups to find out information like: 

  • How financially literate is your workforce?
  • Do they understand the concept of financial wellbeing?
  • How comfortable do they feel about addressing financial concerns?
  • What are the challenges they face in improving their financial wellbeing?
  • Do they understand what steps they can take today, to improve their financial wellbeing going forwards?
  • Do they know what tools and resources are available to them within the workplace?

2. Set clear objectives for financial wellbeing

When you understand what employees need, and what they are missing in terms of their financial wellbeing, you can create a bespoke strategy for providing what they need. That might include: 

  • Raising awareness of what financial wellbeing means.
  • Deepening understanding of the benefits of financial wellbeing: both for individuals and for the business.
  • Showing how financial wellbeing aligns with your company’s purpose and values.
  • Highlighting the reward options available to employees and how they support financial wellbeing.
  • Providing practical tips and tools to enhance financial wellbeing.

3. Gain leadership buy-in

People have complex relationships with money, and conversations about finances can trigger deep-rooted emotional responses: including shame, guilt, and fear. One effective way to encourage employees to talk honestly about these tricky issues is to encourage leaders to normalise those conversations. 

To do that, the leadership team has to own and advocate for financial wellbeing. That cascades a positive and proactive approach to the topic throughout the organisation, prompting fuller and easier discussions about why it matters. 

4. Ask for feedback 

Ensuring that there is ongoing, two-way dialogue about the effectiveness of your financial wellbeing strategy will help to optimise what you do. So, ask for feedback like:

  • What are your employees finding useful?
  • Which tools have they used?
  • Which tips have they put into practice?
  • What do they want next to keep improving their financial wellbeing?


Want to find out more? Listen and subscribe to the full podcast, today. 

Chris Andrew
By Chris Andrew