How to offer cost effective employee financial support

Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director, WEALTH at work, answers some key questions on the cost effective options available for employers to support financial wellbeing in the workplace.

What options are available to employers to offer staff financial wellbeing support without breaking the budget?

Implementing financial wellbeing support may not be as costly as employers might think, as it can be tailored to match the needs of a company and their budget. Financial education sessions can be delivered cost effectively whether they be online or face to face. These sessions can cover a range of topics to support employees such as how to make the most of workplace benefits, understanding their payslips, understanding tax, saving for a rainy day, or retirement. Digital support such as a Financial Healthcheck, webcasts, animations or gamification, are also an inexpensive yet valuable way of delivering financial wellbeing support.

Some services can provide additional value, for example, following financial education sessions, WEALTH at work offers employees a callback service which provides further help or guidance. This provides the opportunity for participants to discuss their personal circumstances and is offered free of charge.

The cost effectiveness of financial wellbeing support can easily be measured by reviewing changes in behaviour. For example, employee surveys could be conducted, or engagement and take-up of benefits could be reviewed, as well as assessing improvements in sickness and absence rates. We measure the success of every programme we deliver, providing information on employees’ knowledge of a topic before and after financial education and an indication of whether employees will take specific actions as a result of the support provided.

What resources do employers have to hand that can help support staff without the need to lay out more expense?

The first place to start is to review the benefits the company already offers. Are they being used? Do your people know about them or how to access them? This could include benefits such as discount schemes, bike to work schemes, subsidised eyecare or dental care. Could employees in effect give themselves a ‘pay rise’ by using their benefits smarter? There also are numerous government resources available that employers could signpost to employees. Websites such as MoneyHelper offer free and impartial help with money and pensions. There are also various tools and calculators available such as budget planners and pension calculators.