Money building blocks
● Income: the ability to cover current costs of living and the things that make us happy here and now.
● Long-term savings: the ability to cover future costs of living and the things that’ll make us happy in times to come.
● A strong safety net: having ideally a minimum of three months of income in an easy-access savings account.
● Debt: keeping debts at a level our income can comfortably pay for while leaving enough to live.
● Assets: owning property and other fixed assets that can build financial security.
Mindset building blocks
● Happiness: experiencing equal amounts of joy and purpose every day.
● Future self: having a firm picture of where we want to be in the future can help us get there.
● Written plans: following a financial plan that can help us save more regularly.
● Social comparison: improving our financial wellbeing by changing how we compare ourselves to others.
● Long-term perspective: the ability to reframe bad news, which can often make us panic and make poor investment decisions.
From these building blocks, your employees can identify what areas they may already be strong in, and what they might need to focus on. We discuss these in more detail in our Financial wellbeing index. There, they can read detailed insights on how to improve in each area, so they can flourish both now and in the future. We’d encourage you to share the index as a starting point for those on their financial wellbeing journey.
3 ways you can support employees in becoming financial wellbeing ‘all-rounders’
Given the negative effects that financial stress can have on people at work, including financial wellbeing in your workplace wellbeing strategy could be crucial. It might make more sense to focus on some of our building blocks than others. So, make sure to consider what will be most beneficial for both your team and your business. Here are three suggestions of support and discussion points to get you started.
1. Remind them what they can – and can’t – control
Life will inevitably throw curveballs at us – an unexpected illness, the loss of a job or urgent home repairs. We also can’t predict things like the stock market, pay rises, or the broader economic and political landscape.
Help your employees understand that while they can’t control these factors, they can control how they think about and prepare for the future. For example, they can control how prepared they are for a rainy day, so building an emergency fund might be something they could choose to focus on. Another thing they can control is their spending. Encourage them to identify the reasons they spend – are they doing so to fulfil a practical or emotional need? And can these needs be fulfilled in a cheaper way?
2. Encourage a future-oriented mindset
A strong and meaningful connection to our future selves is essential for long-term planning and achieving financial wellbeing. ‘All-rounders’ are able to live in the present while also having this connection to their future. For example, this could include balancing both short-term and long-term financial goals – like setting aside money for a holiday while also building up a nest egg.
Help employees to picture their future with exercises to visualise their life 5, 10 or even 20 years ahead. This could be through writing, imagery or drawing exercises. You could also make use of tools available like the ‘Best life tool’ on our website. Don’t forget the range of resources available on our customer Money tips hub where they can learn about the benefits of long-term planning and saving.
A key area where you can offer support for the long-term is in your workplace pension scheme. Think about how you can break down the barriers that prevent engagement by considering different communications and formats, to boost understanding and inspire action. You can find out more about creating an engagement campaign for your workplace on our page Promoting your scheme.
3. Talk to them about what brings them joy and purpose
To achieve financial wellbeing, we must align our earning, spending and managing money with what truly makes us happy. However, only 1 in 5 people are aware of what makes their lives meaningful.2 Can you inspire your employees to focus on things in life that bring them joy and purpose? For example, you could do this by designating time in meetings to share happy experiences, or encouraging employees to set ‘happiness goals’ alongside their professional goals. This could help them connect to their future self and better plan for what lies ahead.
You could also talk about social comparisons and how this may lead to negative feelings of envy and low self-esteem. By engaging with employees on this topic, you’ll also be reinforcing that you care about their overall wellbeing. Refer to the joy and purpose section of our Financial wellbeing index for more tips.
Building a happier, healthier workforce
Overall, helping your employees to become financial wellbeing ‘all-rounders’ means empowering them to be more in control of their finances, both now and in the future. Their welfare is an important contributor to the success of your business. So by supporting their financial wellbeing, you’re also fostering a positive, resilient workplace culture, that could ultimately lead to a more productive environment.
Read the full executive summary of our financial wellbeing research here.