Financial wellbeing is one of the hot topics for leaders. Not only are money worries a well-documented drain on employee productivity, happiness and health, but post-Covid, the situation is bound to get worse. Putting together a strategy can help you address this key subject and support your employees more fully. But where should you start? In this blog, we’ll cover some of the steps you can take to get your strategy in shape.
What is financial wellbeing?
Financial wellbeing isn’t just about having lots of money. It’s also about knowledge and understanding, behaviour, decision-making and planning for the future ‒ as well as confidence.
We’ve consolidated these concepts into four pillars of financial wellbeing:
- Financial resilience: the ability to withstand shocks and changes; having the appropriate resources to weather emergencies
- Money management: day-to-day money behaviours, such as saving, investing and spending
- Money mindset: a person’s beliefs and attitude towards money
- Future planning: preparing for life’s milestones, including retirement.
Finding your why
It’s important to have a clear aim for any strategy. Introducing a financial wellbeing strategy just because it’s fashionable might make it difficult to reach and measure impact.
Are you looking to:
- Increase employee happiness and reduce stress by addressing money worries?
- Improve recruitment and retention by making sure employees feel supported?
- Promote diversity, equality and inclusion by addressing some of the specific barriers to financial wellbeing that particular demographics of your employee base are facing?
A robust strategy can address all three, but your primary focus can help you set KPIs to measure whether you’re reaching your goal.
Establishing strengths and opportunities
Assessing your workforce could be a great starting point when it comes to fleshing out your strategy. What are your employees’ strengths? And where are the opportunities for improvement?
In collecting your employees’ sensitive information, it’s important to be mindful of data protection. Some employees may feel nervous about disclosing certain topics at work, especially if they feel their boss will be reading it and judging them. So an anonymised survey might be a useful way to collect insights.
Maji can deliver this for you, surveying your employees digitally across the four pillars of financial wellbeing, and highlighting where your strategy should focus.
The long and short of it
Once you know what your employees’ needs are, you can start to address them. Some will be shorter-term, and may be urgent (e.g. debt issues). In this case, you may need to signpost employees to emergency support, such as StepChange. Others will take longer, such as saving for retirement.
In either case, a one-off workshop or ‘Wellbeing Day’ is unlikely to make much impact. If you can plan multiple touch-points for employees, you’re likely to have more success in improving their wellbeing overall.
Generic financial wellbeing support might plug some gaps, but personalised interventions can be more relevant and effective. Once you know where your employees’ needs lie, this is one way to make sure the support you offer makes an impact where most important. For example, if you know many employees are looking to save for a home, you could introduce an in-house mortgage advisor, or schedule a ‘lunch and learn’ on different ways to build a deposit.
Another way to personalise your support is to help employees explore their individual situation through calculators, financial planners, or other ways they can visualise their own financial journey. Digital tools can help here: open banking, for example, can help people apply learnings to their own financial situation more easily.
Access to expertise
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to cover all the necessary financial topics in-house. So connecting with experts might need to become a key part of your strategy. Bringing on board a financial advisor might help employees with questions about savings, investments, or insurance. Alternatively, you might choose to work with a financial coach, who could offer sessions for your team. If you’re not sure which would be best for you, Maji gives you a panel of vetted experts across the spectrum, with whom employees can book free and discounted sessions. And Maji’s live chat answers employee questions so you don’t need to worry about them!
Small interventions can help on a surface level, but long-term change can only be created by adjusting people’s behaviours and attitudes. Nudging them at key milestones could be one way to do this. Another great way to help create long-term change could be setting up individual or group coaching sessions. And have you heard of Save More, Tomorrow? Giving employees the chance to automate savings, perhaps through a savings ‘sidecar’, or automated pension contribution increases (available through Maji), could be a great way to help them grow their money.
The good news is there’s lots of help out there when it comes to creating your financial wellbeing strategy. The free resources available at MoneyHelper could be a great place to start. You might also choose to work with a wellbeing or benefits consultant who can connect you with experts and review your plans. But for a lower cost solution, a digital tool like Maji can help too. We can assess your employees, report on their strengths and opportunities, and deliver a suite of personalised, holistic interventions including planning, coaching and expert 1:1s.
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