As the cost-of-living crisis persists, the UK economy is expected to fare worse than any of its peers in the developed world, according to the International Monetary Fund’s 2023 forecast. Indeed, many Britons have suffered and continue to suffer financially. In 2023, an estimated 7.8 million people are struggling to keep up with their bills—up from 5.3 million in 2020—according to the Financial Conduct Authority. And, while organisations need to focus on their own profitability in tough economic times, they would be remiss to ignore the financial well-being of employees, not least because workforce resilience and organisational success go hand in hand. In fact, happy employees are 12% more productive, according to research by Warwick University. As such, organisations that take steps to facilitate the financial resilience of their employees may improve workforce contentment and bolster business prosperity. Consider the following ways to help employees build financial resilience:
• Break the stigma. Almost three-quarters (73%) of staff have never spoken to their employers about their financial well-being, according to research by Aviva. To help buck this trend, run company-wide meetings to raise awareness of financial resilience and tackle the associated stigma. Additionally, train line managers to spot and engage with any struggling employees.
• Review benefits plans. Benefits expert Sodexo Engage found that employees could save an additional £1,679 per year by utilising employer provided schemes. Consider small tweaks in benefits offerings to help maximise employee financial well-being—such as store discounts, child care vouchers, welfare loans and group saving schemes.
• Offer education. Historically, financial education has focused mainly on pension planning. In fact, 75% of employers offer education on saving for retirement, while only 37% provide wider financial planning education, according to financial services firm Aon. As such, bridge the gap in financial education by incorporating a range of educational topics, such as budgeting and cashflow, and understanding the difference between good and bad debt. Better still, tailor support to specific workforce groups or offer one-to-one financial coaching where possible.
When employees are under financial stress, they may become distracted and less productive at work. As such, it’s essential for organisations to take steps to strengthen workforce financial resilience. For further workplace well-being tips, contact us today.