Kavitha’s keynote: Is money on everyone’s minds?

Kavitha's keynote

New research has revealed that nearly half of businesses have no financial wellbeing strategy in place to help staff. And, although 84% of those surveyed recognise there is a need education and guidance around money, 60% do not offer any form of guidance for their workforce.

The study by pensions and investment consultancy Barnett Waddingham once again brings the issue of employer-supported financial wellbeing initiatives to the fore, raising concerns that until strategies are appropriately implemented and monitored, employees will continue to receive employer-paid benefits that are effectively worthless, because they are not helping them with their short, medium, or long-term financial needs.

While almost nine in 10 respondents are concerned about the money issues their employees are struggling with, and half believe their employees want them to provide financial advice and guidance, perhaps unsurprisingly 61% blamed cost for preventing them from implementing financial wellbeing provisions.

Indeed, cost is regularly cited by employers that are struggling to offer specific benefits, as well as a competitive benefits package in general. This is one of the key topics that will be discussed at Employee Benefits Live 2018.

Tanya Whitehead, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’s HR business partner, will explore ‘Strategies for motivating and retaining staff on a limited budget’, during her session on Wednesday 3 October 2018. She will highlight the key issues currently facing the charity sector in terms of attracting, engaging and motivating staff, with a strong focus on cost-effective benefits.

Another challenge for organisations today is around controlling absence levels and improving attendance. According to research by Group Risk Development (Grid), almost a third (32%) of large employers rely on health and wellness promotions to do this, making it the most popular choice for this size of business.

The survey also found that, in organisations with 250 or more employees, nearly a quarter (24%) rely on employee assistance programmes (EAPs), while 23% use stress counselling and flexible working.

Interestingly, flexible working was far more popular among those with between one and 249 workers, where 35% cited it as a method they relied on to control absence levels. Overall, it is clear that businesses of different sizes have very different techniques when it comes to tackling absence management.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
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