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How to discuss financial well-being with your employees…and why you should

Money problems are often exacerbated at this time of the year. Many firms pay staff early in December, and then it’s a long haul to the end of January. The reality of what has been spent over Christmas often hits hard.

Money and financial worries can be a cause for concern and a source of stress for many people including your employees. From day-to-day necessities like paying rent or buying food and clothes, to larger financial commitments like loan repayments and family dependencies.

If left unsupported, money stresses can cause all sorts of problems, and interfere with a person’s well-being and ability to work effectively. Problems such as lack of sleep, an inability to focus, frequent absences from work or worse. The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute reports that a staggeringly high number of people in England each year attempt suicide while struggling with problem debt. This suggests that proactive support is crucial.

When your employees experience difficulties with their financial wellness it can, in turn, affect you and your business. There are many benefits to encouraging good financial well-being within your workplace. How does happy and loyal employees, with fewer absences and higher productivity, sound for starters?

How can I help my employees?

Employers wishing to take a holistic approach to promoting good health and well-being in their workplace can consider financial well-being as part of this approach. The good news is that there is plenty of support available. And it doesn’t solely involve offering a raise!

We have highlighted some key areas for you to consider when approaching the subject of financial well-being with your employees.

Promote openness

Financial wellness is a sensitive issue and many employees may have difficulty in admitting that they are struggling. Breaking down the stigma and encouraging an open and supportive workplace can let them know that they can approach management if in need of support.

Starting a discussion can be a step in the right direction towards supporting your employees. What may start as a difficult conversation can end up being positive progress.

Signpost support

Whether it is by communicating your employee assistance programme which offers one-to-one counselling, or signposting external charities and money management guides, sharing sources of support is a proactive way of helping your employees.

Organisations such as Citizens Advice, National Debt Line and Step Change offer free, impartial debt advice.

Be mindful

Silent sufferers might be too ashamed to admit that they can’t afford to attend the monthly company social or contribute to the latest leaving gift. A mindful approach to financial well-being can include suggesting low-budget get-togethers or making contributions private and voluntary.

Tailor your approach

Your multi-generational workforce will absorb and respond to information in different ways. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider tailoring your approach to reach every member of your team. Where a website or app might be a good suggestion for your tech savvy employees, a private conversation or leaflet in the staff room could work wonders for someone else.

Financial well-being is a sensitive subject and approaching the topic can start some difficult conversations. For advice and support on how to expand your workplace health and well-being programme, call your local HR Dept today.