The current cost of living crisis will be affecting all of your employees right now. Soaring inflation is impacting the cost of everything, from petrol at the pumps to the weekly shop, and the effects on wellbeing could be devastating.
As an employer you’re uniquely placed to support your workforce with their financial wellbeing, but this needs to go further than simply offering a competitive salary. A dedicated financial wellbeing policy might be the difference between your staff being able to continue buying the things that make them happy, or ease the burden of increasing costs.
Why financial wellbeing matters
Worrying about money is one of the biggest drivers of stress in UK adults, and this was true even before the current cost of living crisis.
This isn’t just an issue for their personal lives. Two thirds of employees struggling with financial wellbeing are affected at work by at least one sign of poor mental health.
Financial wellbeing is just one part of overall employee wellbeing, but it can have a significant knock-on effect on the other aspects of wellbeing. Money worries and mental health go hand-in-hand, and this leads to falls in productivity, an increase in fatigue and poorer decision making. Absenteeism increases too. Around 32.5 million working days are lost each year due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety.
How does employee financial wellbeing affect business?
The rates of workplace mental health issues spiked during Covid-19, and the current cost of living crisis is set to make this even worse.
As we’ve already touched on, poor financial wellbeing leads to reduced productivity and absenteeism, while your staff will also have less energy and make bad decisions. Don’t think mental health is a problem in your organisation? An estimated 12.1% of UK GDP is generated by workers who have or have had issues with their mental health, so there are almost certainly people within your organisation who have suffered from poor mental wellbeing.
Stress and anxiety caused by financial wellbeing also:
What to include in your offering
Your financial wellbeing offering will have the power to significantly impact the lives of your workforce, but what should go into it?
One of the best places for you to start is looking at what financial education and training you can offer. This might cover topics such as financial fundamentals like money management and mastering credit, as well as different options for saving money.
In fact, 20% of workers reported that they’d value broader financial guidance.
As well as financial guidance, employees said they’d also value debt management and counselling. The current cost of living crisis only seems to be getting worse, which means simply offering advice on money management might not be sufficient for some.
Debt management may involve supporting employees in negotiations with creditors to agree to a payment plan, as well as advice and support in financial planning and behaviour.
An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), like the one we offer at Sodexo Engage, can also offer independent and confidential support on all elements of mental health. Our EAP will connect your staff with fully accredited counsellors, and is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
A diverse and easy-to-access employee benefits platform will not only help your workforce pay for the things they need, but also continue buying the things that make them happy, further supporting their emotional wellbeing. This might include:
- Discounts at high street retailers as well as supermarkets to help with the weekly grocery shop
- Online cashback to help your employees’ salaries go further
- Holiday discounts that make it easier to go away with the family for less
Our employee benefits platform will be tailored to you, ensuring you can most effectively support your team’s financial wellbeing. Our entire range of discounts and benefits are all in one place, and can be accessed via our mobile app, meaning it couldn’t be easier to access whenever it’s needed.
How Sodexo Engage can support your financial wellbeing offering
In addition to the fantastic employee benefits we’ve been offering for many years, Sodexo Engage also recently partnered with Wagestream.
The charity-backed financial wellbeing app has been added to our employee benefits platform, meaning our clients will be able to access Wagestream via our dedicated financial wellbeing hub. As a result, we’re able to offer our customers a range of fair financial services built around their workers’ pay. Your people will be able to track their shifts and pay each day, save money, set goals and get in touch with their very own financial coach.
Want to find out more about how Sodexo Engage is helping our customers to support their employees during the current cost of living crisis? Get in touch with our team today. Our employee engagement experts will work with you to identify the ideal solutions for your organisation and maximise the return on investment.