Whether you’re a bank or a bakers, a café or a construction firm, supporting your workforce’s financial health and wellbeing can pay dividends for your business as well as your employees.
Alongside employee’s having better control of their bank balance, good money management skills can do wonders for their confidence. Knowing they’re saving enough for retirement or that they’ve taken out sufficient protection for their family can give considerable peace of mind and be incredibly empowering.
Having greater control over their finances can also benefit employees’ mental and physical health. Money worries can lead to mental health problems including stress, anxiety and self-esteem issues. Physical health can also suffer, especially where a financial issue keeps someone awake at night. It doesn’t take long before a lack of sleep can affect the immune system, leading to more colds and even increasing the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
The benefits of improving employees’ financial awareness extend to the employer too. By supporting employees’ financial health, an employer can enjoy reduced sickness absence, greater employee engagement and higher levels of productivity.
What’s more, where employees are financially savvy, they get more out of the benefits programme. With a better understanding of the products and how they can meet their needs, it increases the value they put on their benefits, and on their employer too.
There are a wide variety of different tools and services that can be included in a financial health and wellbeing programme. These range from one-to-one financial planning sessions with an adviser to presentations, intranet money content and financial wellbeing apps.
It’s possible to buy these services in but many organisations already have access to resources that can support employees’ financial wellbeing. For example, although many people think an employee assistance programme is for stress, the counsellors are also trained to provide financial support and information.
Similarly, some employee benefits products include free added-value services that can be a valuable part of a financial wellbeing programme. As an example, we offer all of our group protection customers access to a Health Assured smartphone app, My Healthy Advantage. This offers a variety of bespoke features to support an employees’ mental and physical health, including their financial wellbeing.
What’s appropriate in your organisation’s financial wellbeing programme will depend on factors such as your workforce’s demographics and your budget. As an example, employees in their 20s and 30s might prefer online content and an occasional presentation while those approaching retirement might benefit from seminars or one-to-one sessions with a financial adviser.
But, whatever the demographics, as money is such a personal matter, it’s sensible to offer a broad range of options so that everyone is able to access information and support in a format that suits them. Very few employees are likely to ask for help with a debt problem in a presentation with all their colleagues but they might feel more comfortable reading about debt support online or contacting a counsellor for help through their smartphone app.
And with far-reaching benefits for both the employees and the organisation, a financial health and wellbeing programme is an investment well worth making.
Visit our Employee Assistance page to find out how your employees can access financial support via the phone, online and the ‘My Healthy Advantage’ app.