Financial wellbeing: Money worries in the workplace

Money worries can have a devastating effect on employees – not just on their personal life, but also at work. Financial difficulties can naturally cause people to feel stress, leading to depression and loss of sleep.

The knock-on effect of this can seriously affect a person’s ability to concentrate and do their job properly.

So how can employers help their staff to overcome money worries?

Financial education
Providing financial education for employees and providing tools that really help them to understand how they can start to manage their finances more effectively is key.

Hints and tips on budgeting is a good place to start so they can see the potential savings they can make by making a few simple lifestyle changes.  Encouraging them to review what they’re spending and giving them tips on how to cut costs of essentials like their weekly food shop, motoring costs and general living expenses is another good move.

Sorting out debts
Financial education is just the start. People with debts may need specialist advice and providing them with contact details for local free debt advisors might help.

Providing a good quality employee assistance programme (EAP) that includes debt advice is worth considering.

Salary Sacrifice Loans are an option to include as part of you benefits package. These types of loan allow people to consolidate debits and make payments either direct from their salary in return for better rates than they might otherwise get on the high street.

Getting into the savings habit
The last step is encouraging your employees into more positive habits. Workplace pensions is the obvious way to start your employees saving for the future, but often people opt out because they feel they can’t afford it or that they don’t need to worry about it yet. Saving just a small amount as early as possible can make a real difference in the long-term.

Savings scheme like workplace ISAs are another good tool too. Regular payments can be made from their salary or they can sort out paying directly from their bank account instead to cut down any HR involvement.

Schemes like Christmas savings clubs and holiday savings schemes are other tools to help plan ahead for big expenditure.

Introducing Financial wellbeing initiatives should be considered as part of any company’s health and wellbeing strategy. Hosting these benefits together on an employee benefits platform provides easy access for your employees so they can spend quality time sorting out their finances at a time and place that’s convenient for them.