Research by insurance provider, Aegon, states poor financial wellbeing costs UK employers £1.56bn every year through high levels of absence and a lack of productivity when employees show up for work unwell.
It is widely acknowledged that emotional and financial wellbeing - how people feel about the control they have over their finances and their relationship with money - are connected.
Those in a poor financial situation are much more likely to experience feelings of stress and worry, causing sleepless nights, which can lead to poorer performance at work and affect relationships with colleagues. This can also result in greater levels of absenteeism, which places extra stress on other staff and the cycle goes on.
The survey found that half a million workers took time off in the last year due to their financial wellbeing – leading to 4.2 million lost days of work.
Also employees were asked what caused their low financial wellbeing, with 37% citing a lack of understanding about managing money and budgeting.
What is interesting is that money worries did not just affect low-paid workers, more than half of average earners and more than 1 in 3 top earners worry about money.
Prioritising financial wellbeing in the workplace can lead to a more engaged, supported, and efficient workforce, resulting in greater productivity. The more your employees feel happy and in control of their finances, the more productive they become, the fewer sick days they take and this improves staff retention and can also attract new staff.
In recent surveys and webinars we have carried out as a firm the most frequently asked questions by employees are:
Employers are uniquely positioned to deliver money guidance around life-changing events such as changing roles, locations, starting a family, and retirement.
Understanding employee needs and feedback through a colleague survey can offer valuable insight for an employer, helping to understand the information, and support their employees will value the most. It can help an employer to decide the type of financial wellbeing programme to run and if specialist support and guidance, for example around pension or retirement planning, is needed.
Having a workforce that is engaged, informed, supported and efficient can help increase productivity. It can also help to improve staff retention, reduce costs, and provide benefits in other ways. If employees can see their employers supporting them, they will feel more valued. By understanding these issues employers will go a long way towards building trust with their employees.
Armstrong Watson Financial Planning and Wealth Management team are experienced in providing financial education and wellbeing support to help educate and provide future financial planning advice to employees. We can deliver a range of seminars, workshops and/or webinars on topics including advising pension scheme members and providing employees with an overview of their scheme to enable them to obtain a clear understanding of how it works, their options and any risks involved.