The Importance of Financial Wellbeing

In an era of economic uncertainty, more and more employees face financial difficulties

The net result is that many hardworking professionals are battling to pay bills and rent, which can seriously affect their mental health and overall productivity.

So, it’s essential for employees to think thrifty to save money. You can help them to do just that – which can even have a positive impact on your organisation!

The effects of financial stress

If an employee is struggling with their money situation, it can cause a great deal of mental strain and severely affect their quality of work.

Employees may even decide to leave your business in favour of a higher paying role elsewhere.

In recent years, this has fed into the hands of payday loan providers charging extortionate interest rates and placing further financial strain on those most in need. In recent months, it is with great relief and a twisted sense of pleasure to see companies such as Wonga collapse into administration.

Spotting the signs of financial stress is important — you can then act to assist your member of staff.

Some of the signs are:

· Absenteeism.

· Increase in sick days.

· Agitation.

· Irritability.

· Difficulty concentrating.

· Insomnia.

· Drops in productivity.

· Anxiety and/or depression.

These signs can be due a variety of issues therefore it’s arguably best to have a company culture of openness.

Where employees feel they can discuss their financial issues with a manager, then you can take steps to assist them.

How you can help your employees

Through the likes of salary benchmarking, salary reviews, and bonuses, you can ensure your employees are paid well and receive additional benefits.

Why do this? Well, happy employees will more likely stay with your business and they’ll work to a higher standard.

Dr. Shaun Davis is the director of safety, health, wellbeing and sustainability with the Royal Mail.

At a 2019 conference at the Mad World Summit he said:

“You’ve got physical health, mental health, and financial health, each making up one point on the triangle. Now, you might think, ‘So what? What does that actually tell me?’ Well, in a very simple way, your financial health has an impact on your physical health, which has an impact on your mental health, which has an impact on your financial health etc.”

So, you should be looking to support your employees to reap the full benefits.

Journalist John Boitnott argues:

“Money isn't the only thing that motivates someone to perform well at their job, but it certainly factors in heavily.”

He also lays out seven reasons why businesses should pay higher salaries.

In practice, it:

· Helps to alleviate stress.

· Improves productivity due to happier employees.

· Provides your business with a good reputation.

· Improves staff retention rates.

· Offers fair rewards for across the whole of your business.

· Attracts the best talent for new roles.

As Boitnott explains:

“A well-compensated and engaging culture will make employees more likely to stay in their jobs long term. The longer someone is at your company, the better they understand the systems, norms, and mission. That can make them more productive as well as create stronger teams and bonds in the office.”

For some businesses, the idea may seem unreasonable, but with hard working employees on a long-term basis (rather than staff coasting whilst waiting for a better role), you can really enjoy annual benefits.

Of course, this isn’t possible if you don’t have the budget for it. In which case, you can look to support your workforce in different ways.

For example, offer significant perks such as remote working opportunities, flexible working hours, or extra holiday days.

You can look to offer a higher wage with financial training - the more they know about budgeting and saving, the more they can save from their wage.

Also, look to consider the following:

· Offer above industry standard salaries to ensure employees receive good income that doesn’t undermine common industry roles.

· Set up a sound pension scheme and performance incentives.

· Provide a better work-life balance so employees can spend more time with family and friends—particularly important if they have children.

· Have a flexible approach to salary payments, such as a wage advance.

As a business, you can invest in your employees’ wellbeing to ensure you benefit long-term as a result.

Over the past few months, iCOM Works Limited have introduced financial wellbeing products to a number of national clients as part of their overall employee benefits package and the results speak for themselves. HR departments are reporting better staff retention rates, more engaged employees and a reduction in the number of days missed due to illness. This means happier staff with less concerns over how they are going to make ends meet every month. In lower paid roles, this benefit can make a huge difference to the overall quality of your employees’ financial health and in turn, their physical and mental health.

Financial wellbeing is just one part of an overall effective employee benefit solution – find out how you make your workforce happier, more engaged and healthier by contacting us at