Claire Jose: It is vital that employers support staff financial wellbeing

We all know that happiness comes from within, and it is no different with money happiness. As the cost of living continues to rise, it is more important than ever that businesses turn their attention to their staff to not only provide support for their physical and mental wellbeing, but for their financial wellbeing too.

Financial wellbeing is a key strategic goal in my role as head of people, and our vision is for our customers, staff, and community to have unmatched understanding and control of their finances to achieve money happiness.

We are committed to paying the real living wage, as we believe our staff and suppliers deserve a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. But while providing more money is fair and just, it is lax to consider that the person receiving the money knows how best to make the most of it.

Positive financial wellbeing requires helping employees understand their financial future, as important as the here and now. My colleagues and I have been providing pension awareness sessions which we run bi-annually. Our employer pension contribution remains competitive and it is important that staff have options through our scheme to flex their pension as they move through different stages of their life.

Money happiness means different things to different people. Our income protection and life assurance benefits provide staff with the safety that should life take an unexpected turn. In this unprecedented time, these protections are vital and reassuring for them.

One of the issues for employees is understanding what benefits they have. A common failure among my peers in the industry is a lack of communication. My monthly, quarterly and yearly calendar contain a large amount of all society employee calls to discuss their benefits packages.

In this current situation, businesses need to review the options available to them for employees. Discount codes, money-off vouchers, free day trips: all these things, although not immediately affecting the cost of living, will ensure each employee could do something with their families, to improve their mental wellbeing and ensure their children are not overly impacted.

It is important now, more than ever, for managers to have an open-door policy. Engage regularly with them, allow them the opportunity to have an ear to listen, and ensure their work is not impacting their financial situation.

Claire Jose is head of people at Saffron Building Society