A decade ago, financial wellbeing was a ‘nice to have’ in HR’s repertoire of resources. Then the 2008 financial crash happened, real wage growth declined and UK household debt reached a new average high of £15,385.
Today, financial wellbeing is a major part of the HR toolkit as organisations are increasingly aware that employees who are worried about their finances are under pressure. Which makes them more likely to suffer from anxiety or stress and less able to focus on their jobs.
But what do employees want from their employers when it comes to financial support? And how can HR provide this help? We’ll answer these questions, but first let’s start by defining what financial wellbeing is all about.
Without enough money, employees feel out of control and under pressure making cash a major cause of stress. In recent research into financial wellbeing, it was found that:
- 19% of respondents are losing sleep at night because they’re worried about money
- 30% are making uninformed financial decisions without advice or information from any source when weighing up options about saving or spending
- 58% face barriers to managing their finances including:
- lack of time
- difficulty in understanding financial products and services
- only earning enough each month to get by
- the hassle involved in taking action to save money by researching products and services
These issues translate into a negative impact on employees’ ability to concentrate at work and their productivity. Prompting employers to help their people achieve financial wellbeing.
But how do employees want their employers to support them?