How to improve financial wellbeing in the workplace
July 2, 2021
Supporting financial wellbeing at work improves employee retention, productivity and work culture.
Your employees’ financial wellbeing and maintaining a successful organisation are intertwined.
Research on the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission website states that 46% of employees worry about their finances and 58% of employers find ‘financial illness’ can be a reason for absence at work.
Financial illness relates to little financial knowledge, a lack of emergency funds, a lack of long-term savings or a lack of retirement plan.
Providing employees with the skills and tools they need to make informed financial decisions in their personal lives will help make them happier and more productive at work.
The report also revealed that an average of 20 hours per employee, per month, is lost because of money worries and that women are more affected by financial stresses.
Women were more likely to hide or conceal their situation from family or friends (61%), feel ill or unwell (59%) or lose sleep (57%).
Give your organisation the best chance at success by adding financial wellbeing to the agenda.
Below are three ways you can improve financial wellbeing in the workplace.
1. Destigmatise conversations about money
Creating an environment that encourages employees to talk about money is one way you can increase financial wellbeing in the workplace.
Historically money has been a taboo topic, particularly at work.
Companies can strive to overcome these stigmas and encourage a culture where it’s acceptable to discuss financial topics – including topics such as pensions, Kiwisaver and other long term financial goals.
What you could do:
- Train managers to be able to have transparent conversations about topics such as money, long-term financial goals and challenges.
- Assign a dedicated team member who can be a point of call for any confidential money concerns.
- Join a financial wellbeing programme to give employees access to someone external to talk to about their money questions and goals.
The more you can normalise the conversation about finances, the more empowered your employees will feel to learn more about the subject.
You can improve financial wellbeing by equipping employees with the knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions.
Financial wellbeing is not based solely on income or on how much they have in savings and investments.
The ANZ financial report revealed financial wellbeing is, in part, a ‘state of mind’ based on people’s feelings and expectations about their current and future financial situation. Education can help people feel more confident and in control.
Many people haven’t been taught financial skills or money management before.
Connect your employees to resources and courses that will empower them financially whilst ensuring they know what options are available to them.
What we offer
- Good Loans – we offer no interest loans that are focused on financial wellbeing, to purchase essential items such as car repairs or new appliances.
- DEBTsolve – our free programme can help Kiwis regain control of their unmanageable debt, and combines specialist debt coaching, advocacy and debt solution loans up to $15,000
- Economic harm – we provide information to help people understand what economic harm is, and how to get support.
- Money and relationships – we provide information and talking points to encourage partners to have successful and effective conversations about money
3. Get to know your employees
Who’s working for you? How do they feel at work? What are their needs?
When tackling financial wellbeing in the workplace there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution – every organisation will be different.
Therefore, it is important to understand and get to know your employees so you can provide the best support possible.
Some examples of how you can get to know your employees:
Creating an anonymous employee survey
Making yourself more accessible
You may discover that employees are struggling to reach long term goals – like saving for a car or paying off debt.
You could also discover your employees don’t know they can get up to one week’s holiday pay paid out instead of taking all their annual leave, which could be enough to pay off a small debt before it starts attracting penalties and becomes unmanageable.
Once you know what your team’s needs are, you can improve financial wellbeing in the workplace by helping them access resources that will help them achieve their goals.
Financial wellbeing and success in the workplace are connected.
Equipping your employees with the tools and knowledge they need to make better financial decisions will increase retention and productivity while improving workplace culture and your employees’ wellbeing.
By investing in your employees’ financial futures, you’re not only helping reduce a significant burden in their lives, but you’re also helping the success of your business.