At this time of year it is hard to escape from the theme of self-improvement, entering the new year with what can be a seemingly never ending list of resolutions.
As well as hitting the gym, one area that people often look to improve is their financial fitness, but as with all of the other traditional resolutions, this can be easy to talk about but much harder to achieve. As businesses, we have been increasingly aware of our role in looking after the wellbeing of our employees, but just like those New Year’s resolutions this can take many forms.
Financial wellbeing is the ability to be confident about the state of one’s finances. Research from the FCA found that:
- A significant proportion of people today find it hard to make ends meet. Average household debt in the UK continues to rise, with 23% of people either using a credit card or using high-cost short-term credit.
- More than one in three UK households have very little put away for emergencies and would be unable to pay more than a month’s rent or mortgage if they lost their income.
This can cause significant stress, leading to 59% of employees admitting that financial worries have affected their performance at work at one time or another (source: CIPD). This level of stress can manifest itself in many ways, from distractedness to absenteeism to mental health issues.
Many employers are therefore looking for ways to help, and this is where an Employee Financial Wellbeing programme can be beneficial.
Launched in 2018 we have been able to assist businesses, large and small, with a range of free programmes designed to help educate employees around a range of techniques to improve their financial fitness. From basic budgeting and savings to help with mortgages and pensions, we have a team of financial professionals who can talk to businesses and their staff to try and alleviate some of the issues that may be causing worry or stress.
Fraud and identity theft is another area which can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families. In just the first half of 2018 alone, more than £500m was lost to UK Bank customers, according to industry figures. When this happens to one of our employees, it will naturally have an effect on not only their financial wellbeing, but inevitably their focus and performance at work too. Part of the programme is designed to protect people from falling victim to scammers in this way, increasing awareness and giving participants the resources to more effectively protect themselves.
Taking an hour out of our busy days to start to address these areas of concern is time well spent, and what better time to think about this than at the start of a new year. If your business would like to hear more about one of these sessions, please give us a shout. Click here to find out more.