As options for employers to support employees’ financial wellbeing are discussed more and more, in the light of the cost of living crisis, you may wonder should you actually get involved. Perhaps you’re concerned that helping with financial wellbeing would cost you too much, at a time when your other business costs are already increasing. Or perhaps you see your workers’ financial affairs as being their own personal business and not something you should get involved in.
But there’s a strong business case for supporting financial wellbeing, so it’s worth considering.
Stress and anxiety can be caused or exacerbated by financial worries, leading to increased sickness absence rates. Unless you offer generous enhanced sick pay, the problem can then be worsened as the employee’s income declines due to their absence. Supporting with financial wellbeing can really help reduce stress and assist with mental health struggles, improving attendance as a result.
Performance and productivity
If someone is stressed about money worries, they are unlikely to be on top form when at work. They might be losing sleep, impacting their ability to concentrate and work hard, and they may be distracted and disengaged. Their performance and productivity levels will naturally decrease as a result.
On a practical note, if they are dealing with financial concerns or debt management, they may literally be doing this during working time, particularly if it involves calls to providers only open during office hours.
Keeping hold of good staff is crucial to any business, and feeling they have a supportive employer plays a big part in that. Engaging with employees, showing you understand their priorities and stresses can really help foster a good relationship and keep them with you long term. They may also be less likely to job hunt seeking higher pay if their financial worries are being managed effectively with their current employer. Moving jobs involves stress and risk in itself, so reducing the driver to leave means people are less likely to consider it even if perhaps you don’t pay quite as highly as other organisations.
Similarly, making clear that you are an employer which offers tangible support with financial wellbeing can make you more attractive to prospective candidates, both in practical terms and also in demonstrating a supportive, welcoming culture – something many prioritise in job hunting.
All of the above factors have a direct impact on your own bottom line as a business. Reducing sickness absence, improving productivity, reducing recruitment frequency and finding the best candidates can all either reduce your costs or increase your business income, so as well as the moral imperative of supporting wellbeing of your team members, there’s a definite financial business benefit too. It’s worth taking some time to consider what support you can offer, both financial and educational/wellbeing-related support, so if you’d like some guidance on options and impacts/things to consider, do get in touch.