Accessability Links

Building a stronger workforce through financial well-being

Mark Goode

Worrying about money can affect more than just your personal life. The impact of financial woes can seep into every area of day-to-day life, including how you perform at work. Employers are key income providers and play a crucial role in the financial lives of their employees. Yet not every employer will feel it’s their responsibility to look after their workforce’s financial well-being. Let’s take a look at the impact of financial worries on productivity and how businesses can benefit from taking steps to help their employees feel better about money.

Worrying about the future

Financial wellbeing isn’t simply about having enough money. When it comes to what our workers think about finances, research from CIPD has shown that 75% are most concerned about simply earning enough to be able to live comfortably and enjoy life. After this, the most important factors are saving for the future, being paid and rewarded for their efforts fairly and equally and being able to pay off existing debts. Aside from this, we’re also concerned with the time it takes to manage our money, difficulties in understanding financial jargon, and the hassle of finding and switching to cheaper products and services. That’s not to mention the different financial worries that come when different stages of your life. For example, people in their early to late 30’s are more likely to be concerned paying their mortgage and having enough money to start a family. Whereas in later life, the focus shifts to how to pay off existing debts like credit cards and their mortgage, as people approach retirement. What we worry about can also be impacted by our location, gender and other factors. But regardless of what we’re stressing about with money and the future, these worries can have a negative impact in workplace.

Impacting mental and physical health

Higher stress and anxiety levels can often lead to sleepless nights. Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep to function properly. Sleep deprivation can affect both your physical health and your mental abilities. Stress, anxiety and lack of sleep can all cause you to have trouble thinking and concentrating, making short-term decisions and remembering things. Combined, these elements can impact productivity, personal development and how we interact with people socially. And if these issues aren’t resolved quickly, then over time businesses can expect to face an increase in absenteeism, as people avoid work due to stress.

Improving communication and resources

It’s clear that financial stresses can have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of employees, as well on businesses, but what can organisations do to help their employees to get a better handle on their finances? A good place to start is in having a range of benefits available to assist with financial struggles; offering discounts and vouchers on things which help to make life easier. Another step involves reviewing policies for pensions, pay and parental leave to see how things could be simplified or improved to answer employee needs and provide more reassurance. Finally, it’s important to build up communication around financial wellbeing, from advice on financial topics to signposting to impartial advice sites, holding financial education days to raising awareness of the benefits available to your workforce. With a proper support system in place, you can help to guide employees with financial struggles and assist with their health and wellbeing at work. And in turn, you’ll be helping to increase productivity and create a happier, healthier workforce.

Read our related blog: The role of Mental Health First Aiders

Add new comment

Meet the team

Back to Top