How to Implement Financial Wellbeing Initiatives That Drive Engagement

Summary:

What is financial wellbeing and why is it important for employees?

How does financial wellbeing affect engagement at work?

How do you decide which financial initiatives to implement?

Contact the experts to discuss a financial wellbeing programme

 


How to Implement Financial Wellbeing Initiatives That Drive Engagement

Money worries are one of the biggest drivers of stress in UK adults, and in the current economic climate this is more true than ever before.

However, did you know that if your employees are struggling with their financial wellbeing it will also be affecting the organisation as a whole?

Financial wellbeing is essential for employee engagement, but what financial wellbeing initiatives are available, and which are right for your business?

What is financial wellbeing and why is it important for employees?

Put simply, financial wellbeing relates to the relationship an individual has with their money. Someone with strong financial wellbeing feels secure and in control of their finances, both in the present and when planning for the future. For example, can someone not only pay their bills today, but also deal with any emergency that might occur in the future?

It’s so important for employees to have a positive financial wellbeing because it impacts so many other areas of their life, including mental health, personal relationships and physical health.

Poor financial wellbeing also significantly affects how engaged an employee feels at work…

How does financial wellbeing affect engagement at work?

If you’ve ever worried about money you’ll be acutely aware of how all-consuming and debilitating it can be, so it’s no surprise that these concerns have been found to negatively affect employee performance.

The Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitude Survey linked to above also found that employees struggling financially:

  • Had a 41% higher rate of absence compared with their peers
  • Had significantly lower engagement levels than their peers (29% versus 51%)
  • Were less productive than their peers (5% versus 32%)

This is something employees notice themselves too. Neyber’s ‘The DNA of Financial Wellbeing’ report revealed that almost 50% of workers think financial pressure is impacting their job performance.

How do you decide which financial initiatives to implement?

So you understand the importance of supporting your employees’ financial wellbeing, but how can you determine which financial wellbeing initiatives will work best?

Find out your employees’ needs and worries

Any financial wellbeing initiative you implement will be intended to help your employees manage their money better, but you won’t know how to do this most effectively unless you speak to them first.

Find out what they’re most worried about and care about. Are they struggling to pay the bills or having to cut back on the things that make them happy? Maybe they’re thinking ahead to their retirement plans.

Financial wellbeing isn’t limited to the lowest paid either. The number of people with financial stress doesn’t drop below 29% for any salary bracket. Although salary is a key factor, the amount someone gets paid is not the deciding factor over whether or not they have financial wellbeing.

Consider sending a Financial Wellbeing survey to every employee. Ask what they’re most worried about in the short term, medium term and long term, as well as what initiatives might help to alleviate their concerns.

Make resources easily available

The secret to success for any workplace wellbeing initiative is to make them easily available to all employees.

Can your people access financial wellbeing tools whenever they need to, or do they have to go through management? Are they available 24/7, or restricted to certain times? Is access to these tools capped? For example, if you’re offering an employee discounts package, do employees have a limit on how much money they can save in a given time period?

You also need to make sure the availability of these resources is clearly communicated. You might have implemented a comprehensive financial wellbeing initiative that tackles a wide range of money worries, but if it’s poorly communicated throughout the organisation it won’t be successful.

To make sure the new initiative is communicated effectively, you should do the following:

  1. Simplify the elements that seem complicated
  2. Be clear but avoid being patronising
  3. Avoid using jargon that people might not understand
  4. Be careful to eliminate the shame and judgement of having to use these resources
  5. Demonstrate the resources that can make an instant difference to someone’s finances
  6. Cultivate a supportive and open culture where people feel these issues can be discussed
  7. Tailor the messaging to your audience

It’s also worth considering making sure that access to these tools is anonymous and confidential. Financial worries might affect all of us at some point in our lives, but the majority of Brits still don’t feel comfortable opening up about them, due to a combination of shame, upbringing and not wanting to burden others.

Involve senior staff in the planning

It’s essential that your organisation gets the opinion of its workforce, but you also need to involve senior staff in the planning process.

Senior management will be key in rolling out and communicating the initiatives, as well as ensuring they’re being utilised effectively, so it’s essential you have their buy-in and that they understand it fully too.

What’s more, all employees worry about their finances regardless of salary level. It’s likely senior staff will be using the initiatives too, so they shouldn’t be disregarded during the decision making process.

 

Contact the experts to discuss a financial wellbeing programme

If your organisation has never implemented a financial wellbeing programme before it can be hard to know where to start, or which initiatives will be most effective.

Here at Sodexo Engage we’ve got decades of experience in helping businesses to boost employee engagement and support financial wellbeing.

Our dedicated Financial Wellbeing Hub includes a wide range of products designed to help all of your employees’ salaries go further, as well as financial reward solutions that recognise excellent performance, hitting targets, length of service and more.

Our prepaid cashback cards help your workforce to earn cashback while doing their weekly shop, with 15% cashback available at over 50 retailers, while salary sacrifice schemes—such as travel season tickets and childcare vouchers—reduce their NI contributions.

Our Employee Assistance Programme is another essential element of our financial wellbeing support, connecting your people with fully accredited counsellors offering confidential help and advice on money worries—as well as broader mental health support.

Want to find out more about how Sodexo Engage can support your employees’ financial wellbeing? Get in touch with our expert team today.