As a HR professional or a business owner, looking after the welfare of your employees is part of your company’s success. A workforce lacking in morale; feeling undervalued; or not working at their optimum level due to stress or absenteeism, can cost your business time and money.
So, what can you do to start addressing these issues? One solution may be to implement a workplace financial advice and education programme.
1. Employees understand the real value of any benefits package
Company benefit packages are very often undervalued by employees as they fail to understand what the scheme is worth to them financially. By having greater financial knowledge, they will understand their benefits and realise the monetary value of their package. They will then see it as part of their overall remuneration.
2. Employees are empowered to make the most of their money
The Government backed Money Advice Service reports that many of us lack the skills and knowledge needed to manage our finances. For example:
- 11% believe the current Bank of England base rate to be over 10%
- 16% are unable to identify the balance on a bank statement.
By educating employees on how to manage their finances and what options they have for pensions planning and savings etc., will give them empowerment. This means they will feel more in control of their finances – and their financial future.
Certainly, with concerns over coping financially during retirement particularly rife in the press now with the introduction of pensions auto enrolment, helping your employees understand their options will help make them feel more secure about their future.
3. Employees learn how to set financial goals
While 59% of those questioned in a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) study reported financial struggles, it appears that many workers are worried about seeking independent financial advice for many reasons. These include concerns that they will be given the hard sell; they don’t have the time; or that it will cost them money to get advice.
A workplace financial advice and education programme will provide your employees with free advice and with no hard sell, during company hours.
The programme will help them understand their worth to their company (in terms of the benefits offered as well as their pay), and employees can start to set financial goals. This could be joining the company pension scheme or setting a goal for promotion in order to increase their remuneration. Either way, you will have a more dedicated member of staff.
4. Employees feel valued
By providing financial help and advice, you are showing your employee that you care about them, their future, and that of their families. Making them feel valued as employees will increase engagement and loyalty to your organisation. And, you're likely to end up with more engaged employees who really value working for your company.
5. Your business has a more motivated and secure workforce with less absenteeism and costs
A study last year revealed that one in six absences from work were due to stress, with 28% of male and 34% of female workers citing money as the root of their worry. By giving your employees the tools they need to understand and manage their finances, you are helping to them to better financial and mental health.
Because they are feeling less stressed and more supported at work, they will feel more motivated, resulting in less absenteeism and better staff retention – potentially saving you huge costs on recruitment and retraining.
According to the CIPD’s Summer 2012 Employee Outlook Focus survey of more than 2,000 employees, nearly three-quarters (73%) say their employer offers no form of financial support or advice to help them better manage and understand their personal finances.
Are you one of these employers? If so, it is worth noting that a workplace financial advice and education programme can really make a difference to your employees – and therefore your business’ success. It demonstrates to your staff that you do care about them and their families.
It can also be very cost-effective to implement. At DGS Chartered Financial Planners, for example, we offer a range of financial advice and education services including topical seminars and financial one-to-ones that will be a welcome addition to your company benefits package at a very attractive cost.
So, if you want to boost your staff productivity and well-being, why not find out more about our Workplace Financial Advice and Education Services?
Author: Andy Selway MCIPD