Employers are increasingly realising that helping employees to feel financially secure is part of supporting their overall wellbeing.1
In the UK, as in other countries around the world, times have been financially turbulent in general in recent years, and for many employees this has made money more of a concern. This not only includes worries about keeping on top of money in the short term, but also future considerations such as their retirement pension. The debt charity Step Change had over 620,000 people contact them in 2017 with debt concerns.2
Managers can help by making sure their team know about any financial help available to them through work, as well as signposting to financial support organisations and charities.
How can financial worries affect employees?
Not only can financial difficulties cause worry, upset and sleepless nights, they can also lead to long-term stress, depression and other mental health disorders. Unfortunately, it can be a vicious cycle – money worries impact mental health, but those with poor mental health often find managing money harder.3 From an employer perspective, this may affect productivity and increase absence from work.
What can employers do to help?
- Make employees aware of any financial support available. Perhaps you offer a season ticket loan to help spread out travel costs, or an emergency hardship loan for crisis situations, for example. It may be that employees would benefit from reminding that these support measures are there.
- How about arranging a webinar or lunch and learn about money management? You could also run an internal communication about financial worries, and how people can get support if they are struggling.
- Where relevant, signpost to financial support charities and organisations. These include StepChange Debt Charity, Citizens Advice and Money Advice Service.
1 Willis Towers Watson. 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey. www.willistowerswatson.com, published 2017
2 Personal debt statistics in 2017. Step Change. www.stepchange.org, accessed 19 July 2018
3 Money and mental health. Mind. www.mind.org.uk, published November 2016