As our Financial Wellbeing Week, in association with Wealth at Work, draws to a close, it is time to reflect on some of the trends and issues currently shaping this area of the benefits market.
An increasing number of businesses are recognising the affects of financial worries on employees, particularly the rise in stress levels and, in turn, absenteeism. Naturally, this can often lead to lower productivity and engagement.
Although it may seem obvious, helping staff become aware of, and understand, the basics when it comes to their regular outgoings is a good starting point. They should also be able to appreciate good versus bad debt, such as the difference between a mortgage repayment and a payday loan.
When it comes to compiling a financial benefits package, employers must consider whether their offering is appealing, relevant and well communicated. For example, discounts on retail purchases are regularly offered by employers as part of a voluntary benefits initiative, but often have low take-up rates, because staff do not know they are available or are uncertain about how to utilise them.
Helping employees plan for retirement is also important when it comes to looking after their financial wellbeing, particularly as many are not saving enough into their pension pot and do not feel they can focus on their long-term finances when they have more immediate monetary worries.
This week, Employee Benefits explored some of the areas around financial wellbeing that are often overlooked; for example, supporting staff who have addictions affecting their finances, helping carers with their budgeting, and the impact of offering flexibility around wages.
From financial education to guidance and regulated advice, there is no doubt that providing help for employees with their financial planning can ensure their savings effort is successful, which fits with an increasing understanding of the importance of employers supporting their staff.
Whatever stage you are at and however you implement financial wellbeing strategies in your organisation, Financial Wellbeing Week was designed to help take this to the next level through exclusive insights and opinions uncovering best practice in this area. These included:
- Should employers offer staff increased pay flexibility?
- Stone Junction offers flexible reward to support employees’ work-life balance
- Duncan Brown: Is total reward flexibility the wrong target?
- How can employers ease financial burdens for carers?
- Coventry Building Society introduces paid carers’ leave to mitigate financial worries
- Aviva introduces paid carers’ leave to help employees remain at work
- Katherine Wilson: Employers need to be confident in supporting carers at work
- Top tips to support employees with unhealthy financial habits
- Hays places financial support at the centre of its wellbeing strategy
- Helen Undy: Employers should help staff build financial resilience
- Jonathan Watts-Lay: Five ways to help employees facing retirement