We can all relate to feeling anxious and stressed about finances and money at some point or another. It’s totally normal to worry about your savings, expenses or debts from time to time. Even if you have a stable job and there’s money coming in every month, it doesn’t mean you’ll always feel 100% secure!
At Loqbox, we believe employers have a responsibility to support the financial wellbeing of their employees. That’s because the major stress factors in peoples’ finances are often about their jobs. We take a look at the benefits of financial wellbeing at work and some great tips for getting it right!
What is financial wellbeing?
Financial wellbeing isn’t necessarily about how much money you have. It’s feeling a sense of security and knowing that you can afford what you need today, you can survive any surprises and even plan for the future.
Of course, a big part of financial wellbeing in the workplace is being paid a fair salary for the work you do, but it’s about much more than that.
To get to a point where there is financial wellbeing in the workplace, workers need to feel motivated, secure and empowered. Sure, we all want to feel like that. But why should it be an employer’s responsibility? Why should they care, and what can they do about it? Read on to find out more!
Why is financial wellbeing in the workplace important?
Of course there’s a moral argument for employers caring about their employees’ financial wellbeing. But the research backs up a serious business case too. 4.2 million work days are lost every year due to employees’ lack of financial wellbeing. And 77% of workers admit that money worries impact them at work.
Productivity, engagement and attendance can also take a massive hit. And that’s the sort of thing investors and consumers take note of nowadays. Being responsible for, and caring about, your workforce is a visible element of a modern brand. Employers have to consider how they want to be seen when they consider how to treat their staff.
What are the benefits of financial wellbeing?
A happy and stress-free workforce is a focused and efficient workforce! When employees can clear their minds of money worries they get the brain space to concentrate on their work. Feeling supported by your job empowers you to truly engage with your role. This is great for both the worker and the employer.
Creating open lines of communication, giving staff the support they need and offering real fairness helps workforces to keep their best people. It also attracts great new talent to the company.
And when it comes to the bottom line, employers can help to avoid a drop in productivity when the team is free from the burdens of financial stress and is well supported.
6 ways to improve financial wellbeing at work
Does your organisation provide support for your employees’ financial wellbeing? Or are you, as a decision maker, doing everything you can to provide support for your staff? Boost productivity, fairness and happiness for your business with Loqbox’s tips:
1. Listen to the staff
It’s really important to understand the financial struggles and worries that staff members experience. Financial wellbeing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. For some, money worries could be about meeting rent and bills every month or struggling with mounting debts, whereas others might be trying to balance the books to accumulate savings for large purchases like a house or a wedding.
Financial wellbeing will mean different things to different people. It will often depend on their stage of life and their level of pay. When we recently asked our Loqbox members about financial wellbeing, the negative emotions people broadly associated with money were either those of anxiety and stress or hopelessness and depression.
Do you agree that having people on your team who are feeling that way is not ideal for a workplace environment? Is it hard to imagine anyone working at full capacity when their minds are preoccupied with these emotions?
Giving staff a secure platform to communicate their worries and have others listen to what they have to say will form the foundations of a wellbeing-focused workplace. These foundations can be the building blocks to resources and programmes for their future financial wellbeing.
2. Provide tools and educational resources
Putting together a resource bank of useful tools and resources to equip your workforce with the knowledge and tools they need to alleviate their financial worries. This puts guidance and support right at their fingertips. Here are some examples of some really useful resources:
- Online budgeting and money-saving tools
- Finances, tax and investment guidance and management resources
- Debt advice and management tools
- General wellbeing apps and websites for mindfulness and therapy
If your employees or co-workers have mentioned that they're trying to improve their credit score, then you could tell them to take a look at Loqbox? It's a proven way to boost credit scores, and they can build their financial knowledge at the same time.
Loqbox wants everyone to enjoy a happier, healthier relationship with money. You can earn money by inviting your friends, family and coworkers to join, while they can improve their financial wellbeing just by setting a savings goal with Loqbox Save and watching their credit score grow!*
*Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed. Learn more about what can affect your credit score here.
3. Offer professional help and internal support
Most of us had to learn how our finances work the hard way, when things went wrong! Supporting staff with free or discounted access to professional financial advice could be an excellent step to prevent this. Help your team or petition to your employer to get ahead of problems before they happen, or before they get out of hand!
Better still, bring the financial expertise in-house. Invest in training for members of your staff who can act as financial advisors to their colleagues. This not only provides your staff with access to useful tips and advice, but it can generate even more of a community spirit in the workplace.
4. Pay a fair and reasonable salary
Fair salaries at every level help to promote happiness and boost productivity. To be viewed as a progressive and good employer, making sure that the internal pay scales and routes to career progression are realistic, easy to understand, and properly motivated are essential.
Unbalanced staffing structures and huge pay gaps can build resentment, not to mention losing the best staff to competitors. So both staff and employers would be wise to keep up to date with the latest market pay levels, and regularly check that all roles fit a fair salary structure.
It’s also important to make sure staff expenses are either avoided or paid back quickly. These expenses can accumulate and become a huge drain on personal finances. Even when they are eventually repaid, it can impact how an employee uses, manages or saves their money. Be mindful of expenses and don’t take them for granted! Perhaps consider a company credit card system for those employees who are most likely to rack up regular business expenses.
5. Boost salaries with benefits
Paying employees a fair salary helps them feel appreciated and balance their own finances. But there is still more employers can do to help! Adding benefits packages to help with financial wellbeing on top of staff salaries. Useful perks include:
- Useful discounts
- Rewards and bonuses
- Access to mental and physical health discounts
- Transport and food expenses
- Debt repayment assistance
- Fair and generous annual leave packages
6. Cultivate a supportive workplace
It’s really important to nurture a supportive environment in your workplace by making sure the right resources are available and that your staff feel confident and comfortable to reach out for help. The reality is that the financial wellbeing of your employees will change and evolve over time. It will be specific and personal for each member of staff.
So, your company needs to be fluid and agile to keep up. Setting up a financial wellbeing programme and not updating it over time will ensure it’s quickly outdated. The only way to keep it dynamic is to open lines of communication!
The best way to do this is to take financial wellbeing seriously, and to make it a core part of the culture. Staff should have easy and open lines of communication, they should feel confident and comfortable to talk about their financial worries, and they should be able to give honest feedback which is acted upon.
Make financial wellbeing support an integral part of your business, and you could see your happiness and productivity levels go through the roof!