In our first two blogs on the topic of the cost of living crisis (1,2), we’ve highlighted why this turbulent time might be difficult for your employees, and some practical steps you can take to support them. But short-term solutions might not be enough. With the possibility of a long-lasting crisis ahead of us, putting together a smart strategy for the next few years is sensible. We run through some of the main considerations when designing a powerful financial wellbeing strategy that can help your employees survive and thrive during this challenging cost of living crisis.
Understanding where your employees are struggling
Many employees will keep their financial worries hidden, so it can be hard to know where they truly need help. It’s a good idea to find out where they really need help. But how can you do this in a way that doesn’t breach their need for privacy? Using an anonymised questionnaire or survey could be a great way to start. Technology like Maji’s healthcheck feature can make this quicker and easier to administer, as well as presenting the results in a format that’s easy to understand.
You may also want to consider what you want to find out from employees. How they are coping with day-to-day money management is important, but financial stress can also have a big knock-on effect on mental health. Gathering data on how employees are feeling in addition to factual information about how they’re coping with the crisis can be vital. Maji’s healthcheck surveys employees’ confidence and stress levels so you can monitor their mental wellbeing, too.
Making your financial wellbeing interventions timely and personalised
Any intervention will be more successful if it happens at the right time and is relevant to their own situation. For example, when employees are looking to buy their first homes, having access to a savings account, mortgage advisor, or just more information about how to go about getting on the property ladder might be really helpful. Or, when nearing retirement, being able to access advice about how to make the most of their savings.
Of course, monitoring your employees’ every move is liable to be both tricky and intrusive. Again, a technological solution like Maji’s could be the best way to provide support exactly when it’s needed. Maji allows employees to set and track progress towards their own goals, and find tailored solutions at every stage. From digital coaching to access to experts, Maji addresses your employees’ financial wellbeing needs at every milestone.
Empowering employees to improve their own financial wellbeing
Ultimately, if employees are finding it hard to cope with the rise in costs, there is only so much you as an employer can do. While you can introduce useful employee benefits like discounts or salary sacrifice schemes, each person will need to manage their own money in the way that’s best for them. As such, financial education can play an important role.
This could take the form of webinars or workshops in the workplace, access to libraries of information or e-learning courses, or a combination of these approaches. Where you begin might depend on the profile of your employees and how much exposure they already have to this kind of learning. A multimedia learning programme, like that available on Maji, can help engage employees across the spectrum of confidence in financial matters.
You don’t need to go it alone
Some employee problems will be hard to tackle on your own. For example, problem debt can be tricky to untangle and needs a supportive touch. In more drastic situations, you probably need to signpost them to expert services like Step Change. You could also consider linking with an IFA (either an individual or collective) to provide professional advice for your team.
Working with an external partner like Maji can also be a great way to get your financial wellbeing strategy off the ground. With insights into your employees’ needs, you can make sure they’re getting targeted support. And with Maji’s learning academy, digital coaching and panel of vetted financial experts, including advisors, there’s plenty of ways for employees to improve their financial wellbeing over time.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Maji and how we can help you support your employees, get in touch with us today.