Why employee financial wellbeing matters

One in four employees say money worries affect their ability to do their job – and even those on the highest incomes are not immune. Even before the soaring cost of living started to make the headlines, one in eight employees in the UK already lived in poverty. Now, many more are likely to be struggling to maintain a decent standard of living.

But employers who demonstrate their commitment to supporting financial wellbeing can make a much-valued difference to their workforce. Even employers with a limited budget can do their bit with a simple policy that lets their workforce know where and how to get help.

The business case for supporting financial wellbeing

With the cost of living soaring as a result of global events, putting more and more people at risk of in-work poverty, the moral and business case for supporting employee financial wellbeing have never been stronger. It's an integral part of creating a healthy workplace where people can flourish, reach their potential, and make a significant contribution to their organisation’s performance.

Evidence clearly links financial wellbeing to both employee wellbeing and performance. We've worked with the Center for Evidence-Based Management (CEBMa) to bring you a set of evidence-based insights and practical recommendations, underpinned by rigorous scientific analysis, outlining what you can do to tackle financial distress in the workplace. The case for making financial wellbeing a part of every employee wellbeing strategy is clear.

Read the report: 

Get started with three steps

What matters to employees - financial well-being

Ideally, a financial wellbeing policy should form an integral part of a holistic wellbeing strategy. But these three simple steps are a good place to start:

  1. Let your workforce know that they can get free, confidential and independent money and debt advice from the UK government’s Money and Pensions Service.

  2. Make sure your workforce is fully aware of all the benefits you currently offer and how to make the most of them.

  3. Start to normalise conversations about money worries at work; showing concern and empathy can help to break down any stigma.

Once you’ve got these basics in place, you can expand your financial wellbeing policy to include a commitment to paying a fair and liveable wage, supporting in-work progression, enhancing your benefits package, and offering financial education.

Our Reward Management survey examines the steps some employers are already taking to support financial wellbeing and make work a more reliable route out of poverty.

How to increase participation in financial wellness programmes

Voluntary participation in financial wellbeing programmes can be hard to achieve – and those most in need are often the least likely to seek help. Using behavioural science to get an insight into what makes your workforce tick can help you to uncover and challenge biases that prevent engagement and participation in financial wellbeing programmes. Once you know what these are, you can adapt your communications strategy accordingly.

If you’re already planning or taking action to help support employee financial wellbeing, read our advice and recommendations on how to use behavioural insights to make it a success.

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