Matt Norbury is the CEO of Each Person, the award-winning employee recognition and reward scheme. Matt has 18 years of hands-on experience creating innovative digital solutions for a wide range of clients across multiple sectors. He wholeheartedly believes in looking after employees’ financial needs through enhanced savings and their emotional needs by recognising their efforts using technology. Matt’s mission is to provide employees with the ultimate ‘feelgood’ package so that we can create a positive work environment and culture. Set up by philanthropist Bryan Duffy in 2017, Each Person helps Human Resources teams create and sustain a culture of valued, motivated, and engaged employees through ‘in-the-moment recognition and rewards – rewards that are not just related to consumer products but to mental, physical and financial wellbeing as well.
Employees will come to you if they are sick, pregnant, or dealing with a loss. But what about if they were struggling financially?
51% of employees say that financial well-being worries them with 19% stating they lose sleep because they worry about money (1). Post-covid challenges, the rising cost of living, and other factors have affected people’s financial wellbeing (2). It is essential to recognise what financial wellbeing means to help strategise a helpful employee wellbeing package that supports anyone going through financial stress.
What is Financial Wellbeing?
Financial wellbeing is feeling secure and in control of your current and future finances (3). Poor financial wellbeing can impact many aspects of a person’s life. Heath, transport, housing, food, employment, and more can all change when economic circumstances are in play. The talk of finances and money is not always openly discussed but this can lead to internal overwhelm and people getting stuck in a continuous cycle. Opening up the conversation about financial wellbeing at work is vital to create a company that focuses on transparency, trust, respect, and employee wellness.
How does Financial Wellbeing Impact Employees?
Aside from the rising cost of living, financial stress can take many forms. Supporting loved ones and dealing with debt and unexpected bills are all examples of financial stressors that can impact mental and physical health. A recent CIPD review found that 6% of people reported health issues caused by stress relating to finance.
Financial wellbeing is one of the main stressors amongst employees, yet it is frequently overlooked within HR benefit packages. So, what can you do as an employer to help improve your team’s financial wellbeing?
Keep reading to learn a step-by-step outline with key steps to help you create a financial wellbeing program that supports your people in the best way possible.
How Can You Help?
Employee wellbeing programs should prioritise financial wellbeing, offering a level of support that helps your employees no matter their current financial situation.
CIPD suggests creating your own financial wellness program with these five stages:
- Build support + set strategic direction
- Assess and diagnose employee needs
- Actions + directions
- Implement and embed
- Evaluate and evolve
There are three factors to consider when defining your employee financial wellness system. And for creating a company culture that offers resources and tools for people to use outside their work life.
- Communication + Financial Education
Debt and money worries can leave people feeling ashamed and embarrassed. Creating a clear line of communication and opening up access to financial education resources encourage people to speak up if they are struggling and get the advice they need. Understanding and listening to your employees is fundamental to increasing overall performance and retaining your people.
- Employee Wellness Program
Employee wellness programs often aim to support mental and physical health. However, the strain of financial issues can be detrimental to both of these. Including suitable perks that help your team with their finances and the cost of living can be more impactful than you think. Consider what your people need or use to provide them with resources that benefit them fully.
- Debt counselling / Resources
Debt can be scary and unsettling. 10% of people from the CIPD study state they find it hard to concentrate or make decisions at work because of financial concerns. Almost 1 in 5 people living with a mental health condition will have problem debt, and nearly half of the people in problem debt will have a mental health condition. Including resources, tools, and even debt counselling services as a staff benefit can help relieve some of your employees’ financial stress.
It’s essential to support your employees to thrive in all areas of their life – not just in the office. Happy employees produce good results; that’s why we make it our mission to put together several supportive perks that make a genuine difference. I have found that by appropriately rewarding and recognizing my staff, they are more focused on their job because they feel valued and supported and love coming to work. As a company, we must take the time to understand and consider any issues or challenges they may face and create a support network to meet needs for the present and future.