According to the Guardian newspaper, a 3rd of British employees have no private pension and will need to rely on a state contributed pension scheme which currently pays out at less than £180 a week.
It's no wonder that with almost 50% of working adults stressing over money issues, pension contributions haven't been prioritised, in favour of other weekly expenses.
Financial stress directly leads to presenteeism. Presenteeism refers to the lost productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace because of an illness, injury, or other condition. Even though the employee may be physically at work, they may not be able to fully perform their duties and are more likely to make costly mistakes on the job. Financial stress can also develop physically as insomnia, headaches, fatigue, weight gain (or loss) and mental health breakdown.
Coping with stress can lead to employees reaching out for quick fixes that temporarily mask the negative feelings. Unhealthy coping methods like drinking too much alcohol, abusing prescription (or illegal) drugs and gambling can come with added stress and have a negative effect on overall wellbeing. Money worries without support can even lead to self-harm or thoughts of suicide.
Here's our starter strategy to help improve wellness within your organisation when it comes to financial health matters.
Communication is key.
Stress can increase under a feeling of isolation and suffering alone. Invite open discussions about finance and stress, reach out to your workforce and find out what struggles they might currently be facing. Employers that create an open environment that breaks down the stigma associated with money problems are encouraging a healthy workplace where people can thrive.
Get together to implement focused solutions that offer a strategy to implement improved financial behaviour. As individuals, we make financial decisions based on different variables of influence. We can be driven by fear, ego, ease, peer pressure, marketing or education. Solutions can include regular money management workshops with relevance to triggers for unique habits and behaviour.
What else could you offer your employees to increase their earning potential, help them save more and spend less? As an organisation, there may be some direct benefits you can offer to your workforce that don't cost your company a fortune, add value to your employees and put you ahead of your competitors as a more desirable place to work. Fringe benefits and schemes like group discounts on gyms, leisure, utilities, dental, optical and wellness or tax-deductible education, pre-tax savings accounts and regular pay reviews in line with the national average. Whilst reducing stress with other solutions can be beneficial it's important to address the root of the problem without adding further overwhelm.
Collaboration builds the strongest of teams.
Work with internal and external financial experts to offer support and guidance when needed and keep your database or directory of support lines, websites and contact emails up to date including these helpful links;
Creating a financially healthy culture is an essential part of employee wellbeing. For more information on how we can conduct a wellness audit on your business or organisation financial health contact us for a confidential discussion on what's involved.