The cost of employee financial stress and how to help

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For employers only

From rising food bills, tax hikes and energy prices, it’s likely that most of your employees will have experienced some effects of the current cost of living crisis. Increasing financial strain and a poor money mindset can have significant impact on employees, and by extension, the workplace. Knowing how you can help in these situations could make all the difference.

We’ve partnered with the Centre of Business Economics and Research (CEBR) to release new research that identifies the real cost to businesses of employees with low financial resilience and a poor money mindset. The report also shares practical tips on how you can help to support your employees with their financial wellbeing.

The survey found that while monetary concerns – such as debt or lack of savings – resulted in high costs due to absenteeism and presenteeism, it’s a poor money mindset that has the biggest financial cost to employers. It suggests that to achieve better financial wellbeing for employees, employers need to address people’s minds, rather than just considering what’s happening in their bank accounts.

Key findings from the research:

  • The total cost of absenteeism and presenteeism due to financial worries is expected to be £6.2 billion
  • 10% of full-time and part-time employees missed days at work due to financial worries, and 18% noticed a decline in productivity while at work
  • 56% of employees felt their work is meaningless/lacked purpose
  • 59% of employees felt underpaid compared to their colleagues
  • 66% of employees had no clear idea where their life was headed
  • The cost to large businesses when employees are distracted by thoughts of an uncertain life path equate to £737,838 – more than double the cost of absenteeism and presenteeism due to financial troubles

Practical tips for supporting your employees with financial wellbeing:

Engage with our research and tools

Our wide range of research tools and insights are designed to help you better understand financial wellbeing and support your members. From our interactive financial wellbeing tool with personalised recommendations for our customers – to our picture your best life tool that encourages future thinking and visualisation.

The most effective education programmes often provide practical help, so consider talking with your scheme adviser if you have one – or partner with a local financial planner to offer personal financial sessions for your employees.

Communicate regularly to reduce the stigma

Poor financial wellbeing and poor mental health are related and often have a stigma attached to them. This can make employees scared to speak up when they are experiencing these issues.

Help reduce the stigma by providing training for your managers to identify and support employees showing signs of financial or mental health concerns. Use your internal comms to regularly discuss these topics – show it’s okay to speak out. Our financial wellbeing hub has useful materials you can use to share with your employees – or relevant bodies such as MoneyHelper will have many reputable resources you could use.

Get creative with your comms

Being able to save for the long-term and retirement is a key part of financial wellbeing. Helping your employees understand the benefits of their workplace pension and employer contributions could be beneficial to helping to improve their financial resilience and mindset.

From webinars to videos there are many creative and engaging ways to communicate with your employees. Introduce key topics like tax relief, accessing online services and how to contribute to your pension to help employees take control of their finances and improve their mindset for the future.

Read the full summary – Financial wellbeing in the workplace.

Source:

All statistics are direct from Aegon and Centre for Economics and Business Research Report 2022.