Financial worries have plagued employees and employers alike for decades. However, in such an uncertain economic climate, the discrepancy between how employers feel monetary concerns affect employees and how it is often underestimated. According to Dr Cary Cooper, leading expert in workplace wellbeing at the University of Manchester, there is a change. Eighty-eight percent of businesses believe their employees worry about money but just 30 percent of employers think these money worries impact their employees performance at work. This is a huge contrast to the 73 percent of employees that say that money worries impact them at work.
What does this mean for employee engagement and satisfaction in the workplace? According to the 4th edition of Neyber’s annual ‘The DNA of Financial Wellbeing’ study, within a 3 year gap from 2017, the concerns surrounding this phenomenon are on the rise as of the end of 2018. Two percent of employees surveyed stated that they had lost sleep and missed a day of work over their financial well being. Those who felt physically and emotionally depressed by their economic situation increased by one percent . Although these stats are nowhere near the highs of 86 percent of people in 2018, who felt like their poor financial wellbeing had made their mental health problems worse. In a cruel twist of fate in what appears to be a financial cycle of pain, 72 percent of people said that their mental health problems had affected their work and income.
Another part to Neyber’s annual study indicated that these stresses are detrimental to the maintenance of a healthy home and relationships. According to the cited study, 57 percent of the surveyed public said that financial worries affected their home relationships. 52 percent also said that these same concerns had had an active part in harming their social life. With a concerning percentage of people feeling this way, it is important to acknowledge how much this level of damage can hinder your employees health as well as company productivity.
Statistically the worst years, for financial wellbeing, in the study are 2016 and 2018/19. These, coincidentally have been the years with the most monetary instability with regards to political shifts. Brexit, and the financial uncertainty surrounding it, may be a catalyst for the shift in attitude. To find out more about the effects that Brexit may have had on your employees read our past article.
The scale of the problem is often misconstrued or undermined by employers. Close Brothers asset management developed a test called ‘The Financial Wellbeing Index’ to determine people’s monetary satisfaction across seven key areas of finance. The UK came out with a national average with 53.6 percent satisfaction. When employers took the same test, they estimated the financial wellbeing of their employees, on average, to be around 71 percent.
What can be done about poor financial wellbeing within your organisation?
A way that you can tackle poor financial wellbeing, and ease the burden, is looking at ways of offer employees tangible financial savings. This could be in the form of money saving offers. At Each Person we believe that people should have the financial security, recognition, the feeling of being valued and ultimately be happy in their workplace. With our reward, recognition and financial well-being scheme, employees can benefit from 10 percent discount across major UK retailers. The discount is even applied on top of sale prices. Helping employees save money is a great way to contribute to the financial well-being of employees, and can also go a long way in helping retain and indeed attract talent.
It’s also important to that the channels of communication are open and thoughts and concerns can be aired out in an empathetic and understanding environment.Have a clear understanding of the gravity of the situation. It is not a topic that should be undermined or neglected. Poor financial wellbeing can trigger mental health problems and can hinder productivity. No one benefits from it, so make sure you staff have the moral or financial support they need.
Make sure that problems are tackled head on. Similarly to mental health, it is worth pulling people in for open chats when you pick up on the signs previously discussed in the mental health blog.
Ensure that any recognition and rewards schemes can help with reducing the costs of products, loans and services as this can ease the pressure and help stretch wages and salaries further.
To find out more about how Each Person can help your business offer financial wellbeing to employees, contact us today.