Supporting employees through financial stress

Supporting employees through financial stress

The coronavirus has had a huge impact on people across the UK, with a huge factor being their level of financial stability. While some have reported finding it easier to save to due to working from home and not spending money socially, others have been plunged into unchartered waters and no longer can rely on a regular monthly income that meets their outgoing.

In a recent Office for National Statistics survey, they found that over 25 million of those surveyed in Britain rated their anxiety as “high”, over double the amount of those in 2019.

Amongst this group, the highest sufferers were approximately 2.6 million people who said they were struggling to pay their bills.

Is there more your business can do to better support your employees?  

Emotional Support
Financial wellbeing is a private and sensitive issue, so don’t be surprised if employees are not forthcoming to discuss it. But financial worries can weigh heavily on a person’s mind, impacting their mental and general wellbeing. Implementing an initiative which allows colleagues to discuss confidential matters in a comfortable environment may entail bringing in an outside counsellor who otherwise has no involvement in the business.

CIPD president Professor Sir Cary Cooper said: “Although many businesses have made great strides to look after the mental wellbeing of their employees over the last decade, not as many employers have supported their financial wellbeing. And given that employees have said their money worries are affecting them at work, this is a bottom-line issue.”

Money Management Workshops
Try offering sit-down sessions on practical money management skills such as budgeting, financial planning and free accounting apps. Though they might not set pulses racing with excitement, they may well prove popular as they bring the problem out into the open – and provide solutions.

As Jeanette Makings, Head of Financial Education at Close Brothers asset management, puts it: “Equipping staff with the tools they need to take control of their finances now and for their future will not only improve their own wellbeing, it has been proven to boost productivity levels – benefiting both business and workers.”

Health Advice
Many employees reported that they suffered physical fatigue caused by loss of sleep due to worrying about money, therefore impacting their productivity at work. Stave off physical health worries and boost general employee wellbeing by offering healthy lunches, fitness classes and regular activities, perhaps teaming up with a local gym or health centre.

To better support your employees both physically and mentally, have you considered a review of your existing group health scheme? Many insurers are now offering increased mental health support for a wide range of issues. To find out more, get in touch with us on 01670 365620.