Employees are most worried about their financial position. The Money Advice Service identified that 28.7 million working adults in the UK weren’t satisfied with their finances. The Financial Conduct Authority reported that 25.6 million people were financially vulnerable.
There’s a shocking stat out there. Faced with an unexpected £300 bill, 11.8 million adults will borrow money or can’t pay.
Only 50% of employees, thinks that their employer cares about their financial well-being. That’s less than those who think that their employer cares about their mental (62%) and physical health (60%).
When asked what their top three worries are, employees said
- Financial worries (30%)
- Health (25%)
- Retirement provision (24%)
Employees are most worried about their financial position
What do employers think their employees are most worried about?
When asked what they thought their employees worried about the most, employers gave very different answers.
Their top two worries were work life balance (44%) and workload (33%). There’s clearly a difference between what actually worries employees and what employers think their employees worry about. Work life balance worries only 22% or employees surveyed. Employees are most worried about their financial position.
The effects of financial worries show themselves in many ways. Physical factors such as loss of sleep and a reduced ability to perform well at work seem quite obvious. Also significantly affected by the stress of worrying about money is an employee’s mental health. Different employees will have different points at which they worry. What’s common though is that that they are highly unlikely to speak to their employer about their worries. Turning to their family and friends about their worries is their first thought.
Over 70% of employees who worry about money say they wanted more support to help them understand financial topics. 20% wanted to learn about long term financial planning. 15% wanted to develop good savings habits. 55% of those surveyed would like to receive face to face support. 46% will happily access this support on line.
What do employees think their employers can do to help?
When employees were asked how their employer could help provide them they suggested
- Supporting my ability to manage my money
- Providing a supportive environment for my mental health
- Creating an environment to support my financial health
- Providing financial education and support
- Making it easy for me to access options
But few turn to their employer for help. They prefer instead to turn to their family members or partners. Being able to talk face-to-face with someone is very valuable to them. Employers are becoming more aware of how employees are struggling with money. But surveys show that they still haven’t quite grasped the scale of the problem.
It’s in the employers’ own interests to help. Both businesses and their employees know that job performance suffers when someone is worried about money, as does their behaviour.
How can employers help?
- Put information together for young workers just starting work to help them budget. Include it as part of their new starter information. The Money Advice Service has some useful resources: https://masassets.blob.core.windows.net/cms/files/000/001/028/original/MMOYM_Apr18_Edition1_Eng_Dig.pdf
- The Open University have a free online course to help educate young people at work: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-business/personal-finance/managing-my-money-young-adults/content-section-overview?active-tab=description-tab and a more generic money management course which is also free http://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-management/managing-my-money/content-section-overview?active-tab=description-tab. Share this information with employees.
- For employees on lower incomes, publicise the Government Help to Save Scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/help-to-save-what-it-is-and-who-its-for/the-help-to-save-scheme
- Provide information relating to the Company pension scheme together with where the employee can get more information about their pension.
- Talk to your employees. You might find this blog helpful
We share your concern that employees are most worried about their financial position. If you would like to talk to us about this and how you as thee mployer can change things call us now on 01706 565332 or drop us an email and we’ll call you back as soon as we can.
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.