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Why your employees’ financial wellbeing matters

Banafsheh Ghafoori

For years, employers have not really had to think about providing support to their employees around financial and mental well-being. This of course could be a legacy culture from when individuals worked for their employer and in return employers offered what they needed: a salary plus some health benefits and a final salary pension once they left.  Contributor Banafsheh Ghafoori, Senior Communication Consultant – like minds

But times have changed. With the final salary era coming to an end, people are viewing their employment as a partnership and are looking to employers for additional support. Increasingly, emotional reward can have as much bearing as financial reward when employees choose to stay or move to a new organisation. With the current strong demand for talent, companies are having to up their game and provide a range of support and extra benefits to keep employees satisfied and ensure their now-higher expectations are fulfilled.

Getting a productivity gain…
Employers are also beginning to understand the correlation between well-being and motivation/efficiency. Personal and work stress is clearly on the rise, and can have a significant bearing on employees’ productivity and their relationship with their employer.

But what can be provided and how…
The spectrum for either problem is so wide that it would be difficult to recommend anything without doing some homework first. It is therefore always vital to understand the needs and wants of the organisation by having honest conversations. Although these may be felt unnecessary and costly, they help establish objectives personalised to the organisation’s culture. They can also provide an opportunity to audit reward packages to ensure they’re still fit for purpose.

Once you have an understanding of your employees’ needs, how you choose to support them could include:

  • one-to-one guidance
  • websites for self-learning
  • mentoring
  • real stories which are relatable about how to spend less, manage debt or simply budget
  • independent financial advice
  • on-line financial calculators
  • on-site therapy sessions
  • leaflets/booklets/other resources

Keep things moving…
Whatever you decide to implement, this is only just the start of it. If you want to create a real culture of well-being, there is also a need to find methods of engaging employees to ensure anything provided is not just seen as a one-off.

Remember, we’re all human…
To engage effectively, tap into how we work behaviourally. Bear in mind our natural inertia and aversion to detailed information or complex decision-making. Also, humans are always looking to be rewarded for the actions they take, even for something they should be doing. This can be achieved by taking the “gamification” concept and providing simple rewards for steps taken – regardless of how small.

By building efficient and well-communicated financial well-being programmes, companies can not only create long-term efficiencies but also build positive and trusting relationships with their people.

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