When considering wellbeing among employees, we mostly think about their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Whilst all three of these are still incredibly important, it’s possible you would not have thought too much about the financial wellbeing of your staff.
When you think about it, it is only natural someone might be affected by their finance – it is something we all worry and stress about at some point in time. A reduction in income with the threat of possibly losing a job can disproportionately impact employees.
As an employer, ensuring the wellbeing of your workforce is key – not only in terms of productivity but in terms of morale amongst a workforce.
Although it might be something often overlooked by employers, here are four things you can do to help ensure employee financial wellbeing in your organisation is improved.
It might seem like a simple step to take but educating your workforce can often be a helpful and effective tool.
A lot of employees will be living payday to payday, meaning they would likely have a limited savings pot, and any large, unforeseen expenditure could cause undue stress and worry. Similarly, if your employee has a mortgage, car loan or locked into other financial agreements, the risk of problems is further increased.
By offering your staff access to educational resources surrounding personal finance, be it debt management, setting savings goals, or even how to boost credit scores, you’ll be able to arm your team with useful facts and information. Education is empowering and can be more useful to some than is realised on the surface.
It doesn’t necessarily need to cost your business any additional expenditure – and certainly, any outlay in education is certainly worthwhile compared to the cost to the business through productivity and performance.
2. Employee Assistance Programme
Most if not all business these days will have a designated Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), but for those that don’t an EAP gives an employee access to a completely confidential counselling service, covering a wide range of topics.
These can include but aren’t limited to, things such as relationships, mental health, substance abuse and, importantly, financial advice.
EAPs typically tend to include assessments, short-term counselling, as well as any referral services that may be needed.
Perhaps most importantly, access to EAPs are not just limited to the employee but have an invitation extended to their immediate family, regardless of where they are in the world.
In the UK, the cost of an EAP is based on a per capita value which stems from multiplying the number of employees by the anticipated service use, so it might be worth checking with providers within your locale.
The Employee Assistance Programme Association website features a tool in which you can calculate the return on investment you might receive with an EAP.
3. Company Benefits
Although offering company benefits might not directly improve their financial wellbeing, there isn’t anything stopping this from being a useful tool.
For instance, your business might offer discounted or possibly even free gym memberships. Not only is something like this a great incentive, but for people struggling financially, it might also help to reduce some of their monthly expenditure, releasing pressure and enabling them to feel happier at work.
But this will also provide you with a great opportunity to communicate with your employees to find out if there is anything further the business could be offering to help. Not only will this dialogue help your team, but it will also help you as a business learn what aspects need a little bit of work.
4. Line Manager Training and Specialists
Finally, it might be worth investing in training for line managers for them to be able to spot anybody potentially suffering and give them the support they need.
Although some employees might feel uncomfortable opening up to their manager about any difficulties they may be facing, training line managers appropriately, or bringing on board a counselling specialist, might create a safer space for members of staff to seek help in-house rather than externally, speaking freely and comfortably in confidence.
By having trained members of staff in-house, it might also improve the well-being culture within the workplace. Ultimately a healthy workforce makes for a happy workforce, improving morale and productivity.
If an employee is struggling with their financial wellbeing, it might also impact other areas of their general wellbeing, and so should be taken just as seriously as other aspects. Employers can employ several different tools to help, and at the end of the day, it is within the best interest of a business to maintain the morale and productivity of a workforce.
Seeking to improve employee financial wellbeing, the positive impact will be felt by all concerned.