Kelly Metcalf: How can employers support staff who are stressed about the cost-of-living crisis?

stressed Understandably so, individuals are anxious and stressed by the ongoing economic disruption, even if they are not directly impacted. Here at Fujitsu, employee wellbeing support is a constant, but the focus is ever evolving. In 2020, much of our attention was on helping our people to navigate the various physical and mental challenges brought on by the pandemic, but so much has changed since then.

Now, as we live through heightened times of uncertainty, concerns about the ongoing cost-of-living crisis increases the need for employers to have supportive financial wellbeing policies.

As a responsible organisation, we have a duty of care for our people and a fundamental part of this is offering employees financial wellbeing initiatives. To support our staff, we offer awareness and financial education to help people make informed financial choices. We have an employee assistance programme, which in addition to supporting mental health also includes individualised support via the money helper service.

We offer employee discounts which can offer day-to-day savings adding up to thousands of pounds over the course of year. The key part of our wellbeing equation at Fujitsu is recognising that all of our people are individuals and there is no one size fits all way to support everyone. Although some personal experiences may seem similar, every circumstance is different, and that is why training and support for line managers in empathy, compassion and effective signposting to onward support is critical.

When it comes to sustaining the financial wellbeing of their people, organisations must offer a holistic approach and bespoke policies, recognise the diverse needs of their people and support line managers with education and training, to get to know their people as individuals and tailor the support available. All of this, in turn, ensures people feel cared for and increases the likelihood of retaining them.

As with all types of wellbeing support, all of this must be underpinned by a strategy that recognises the nuances of flexible working. We need to be more deliberate about getting to know people individually and maintaining strong connections when working virtually, this in turn will ensure that the wellbeing needs are not overlooked simply because they are not physically seen on a regular basis. After all, the organisations that can meet the needs of their people, however they work, will be those that are much better positioned to win and attract talent.

Kelly Metcalf is head of diversity, inclusion and wellbeing at Fujitsu UK and Ireland