Enhancing Employee Wellbeing Through Financial Education
Hollie Stepehen, Financial Education Specialist at Gary Walker Wealth Management
Okay, so obviously my role as a financial education specialist has led me to being here today, and I’m going to discuss all things financial wellbeing, looking at the financial wellbeing of your employees in particular.
So the aim of today is to engage, educate, empower, all those within the room and hopefully you can take some of this information away with you. We’re going to start with engage, and for those of you that don’t know me, I used to be a teacher and I can’t help but get everyone involved. So what we’re going to do is take part in a game I hope you’re all familiar with, as I don’t have much time to explain. Basically, I’m going to show you some statistics related to financial wellbeing and all you need to do is tell me if you think the next answer is higher or lower than the previous with a thumbs up or thumbs down.
So the first stat I’m going to show you today is the percentage of UK employees that worry about money every day. And then from there on, we’ll start our little game. So 24%, which is almost a quarter. So onto our game in our next question. What percentage of UT employees reported that financial concerns were their biggest worry. Higher or lower than 24%? 40%. So well done if you said higher.
Next question, what percentage of workers reported a drop in productivity due to financial distress? Do you think this is higher or lower than 40%? Okay, we’ve got mixed bag. Lower. So if you said lower, well done. Still high and concerning. Finally, how many employees do you think want more help with their finances from their employer? Higher or lower than 20%? A lot of thumbs up, so clearly a problem here. 63%. You’re correct if you were higher. 63% of employees want more help with their finances from their employer. Your crucial commodity, your employees, are clearly suffering.
And the image we have here shows the cycle that your employees may be stuck in. So having money worries, which may lead to financial pressure, lower productivity, stress at work, and ultimately them not knowing where to go. And this can be a vicious cycle.
So on to educate now, and why, as employers, we should be concerned about the financial wellbeing of our employees. Well, you saw from the game, but also from the graph here that we worry about our finances more than anything else, particularly like when we’re at work. It’s easy for us to think that our finances just impact one part of our life, however, it has on knock on effect to other areas. Such as, for example, poor financial wellbeing and poor mental wellbeing tend to come hand in hand. Things like anxiety and depression and also the physical symptoms that come with this.
Then obviously you have an effect on your career. Things like quality of work, lower productivity at work, weakening relationships with colleagues, which can ultimately lead to more time off. It can also affect your organization with 13 million days being lost last year due to workers taking time off, with the average cost to employers being £192 per day. And we can see here how that can quickly add up. It’s therefore essential that we support financial wellbeing within the workplace. And here we have a quote from a company who took part in our financial education program and is an example of a company that has financial wellbeing at the forefront of their minds.
But it isn’t necessarily as straightforward as we think and the subject does remain a taboo within the workplace. And we can see from this study here that many employees don’t actually tell their employers that they have money worries, and that might be to the fact that they think their employer can’t help or they actually feel ashamed. And it’s been found that those of us that have bad relationships with money are even less likely to tell our employer, they feel less comfortable when really these are the people that probably need help the most.
And furthermore, a study has found that just 2% of senior HR leaders think that their employees only worry about money on a daily basis, whereas we’ve seen it’s over 40%. And since companies tend to allocate their resources based on the size of the problem, clearly this underestimation can affect our wellbeing strategies at work.
So on to empower and what organizations can do to help. Things like pop-up safe spaces, things like drop-in clinics where maybe an expert comes in. Things like lunch and learns to encourage that conversation and to perhaps educate your staff. Other practical steps, making it okay to talk about money, kind of helping with that taboo subject and also to help understand your employee priorities and how this can align with your staff benefits. And finally, maybe giving advice on where to go for help.
So from this we can see that financial wellbeing is no longer a nice to have. It’s a must have for organizations and it’s essential that they are engaged, educated, and empowered in order to improve their overall wellbeing and in return, organizations will reap the rewards. Don’t leave your crucial commodities suffering.
See Hollie delivering her presentation at DisruptHR Aberdeen here >>>> https://vimeo.com/876123437
More talks from DisruptHR Aberdeen here >>>> https://hunteradams.co.uk/blog/disrupthr-aberdeen/