This guest blog was written by Jess Koh, our Launchpad intern from the University of Sheffield.
Beginning in early 2021, The Great Resignation has arisen as a real problem for many companies. According to analysis done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 3.4% of workers quit their jobs in November 2021, as compared to 2.7% in the same period a year ago. Working remotely during the pandemic has allowed workers to rethink and prioritise their working conditions and long-term goals.
Moreover, surveys indicate that Millennials and Generation-Z are more likely to be dissatisfied with their existing working environment and plan to seek a new job within a year. Consequently, the rising turnover rate increases recruitment costs and rehiring time, and damages the employee morale of a company. Conversely, retaining employees will cost less and minimise the impact on business activity. So, how can we address this? A robust employee wellbeing strategy is a must. And if you haven’t considered the role of financial wellbeing in particular, read on for more on how this hot topic can transform your retention.
Employee financial wellbeing is increasing in importance
When employees were surveyed on what they could do to improve their overall wellbeing at work, financial wellbeing was prioritised above mental wellbeing. This is particularly true for Generation-X (32%) as they reported they were more likely to struggle with their financial well-being than Generation-Z (19%). Generation-X is now at the prime age range to juggle financial commitments for both their children and ageing parents (sometimes known as the Sandwich generation).
Finance influences almost all aspects of our lives. Thus, financial wellbeing often intertwines with the other key aspects of overall wellbeing. These include:
According to the WHO, mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realises his/her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Recently, a COVID Resilience Survey conducted among 3,035 adults found that 63% agreed that uncertainty about the foreseeable future will likely cause them stress, and almost half (49%) went further to say that the COVID-19 pandemic makes long-term planning impossible.
Having control and confidence in future financial planning relieves employees from stress. Employees spend most of their time outside of work planning and managing their short- and long-term finances. Being guided on how to manage money can lift the burden.
Moreover, some people who are not open to sharing their financial information with friends or family for guidance might end up struggling alone. Having a financial coach or access to bespoke financial resources tailored to their individual needs may reduce their anxiety. A financial wellbeing platform like Maji allows users to book time with a coach or advisor, ensuring employees feel fully supported at all times.
All employees will have their personal goals, such as starting a family, buying their first house or retiring at a desired age. Financial coaching can help them navigate these potentially tricky paths. Once their goals are accomplished, it promotes cognitive wellbeing (i.e. a form of mental wellbeing), which is associated with achievement and success. Feeling supported by the company for major life events will make employees feel valued, supported and inclined to stay with the company.
Physical wellbeing is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life. Employees can create a financial plan to obtain their desired living conditions and quality of life. For instance, setting aside a portion of their income for supplements, gym subscriptions or saving up for a house with a better environment could make a positive impact on their overall physical wellness.
Additionally, companies often provide wellbeing benefits such as gym subscriptions or medical cards, yet the majority of the employees aren’t aware of the health benefits that they’re entitled to. Employers should think about how to help employees to make use of all resources and information available – for example, with a digital coaching service like Maji’s.
Social wellbeing has increased in importance over the pandemic and in the context of the workplace, refers to a sense of belonging and inclusivity, with healthy relationships with colleagues. Companies should provide a safe place to develop and sustain these meaningful relationships. Employees should be encouraged to break the social taboo and start ‘sensitive’ conversations because opening up about their real issues allows individuals to build genuine rapport. But employers also need to keep psychological safety in mind, especially when it comes to addressing financial matters at work.
Through the help of digital data collection, your company can better understand the needs of its employees, while keeping employee privacy protected. This information comes in handy when organising educational seminars and networking events related to the underlying issues faced by the employees.
Building a desirable work environment
Many workplaces are starting to address mental, physical and social wellbeing. However, a survey found that over half of HR leaders want to put more attention on employees’ financial wellbeing, with 65% saying that it will be the next big challenge for companies. Working adults will all face financial challenges at some point. This could be a great opportunity for employers to step in and support their financial wellness as a way to build trust and long-lasting relationships with employees. The good news for employers is that there’s lots of help out there to help incorporate wellbeing into their workplace. So, what are the next immediate steps you can take?
Maji is an independent, all-in-one platform catering to the needs of both employers and employees. We offer both digital and physical coaching and detailed planning tools, tailored to individuals who want to explore material on their own or speak to a financial expert. Through Maji, employers can also easily evaluate employees’ current financial wellness through graphical data analysis and comprehensive indications of employee stress and wellness scores. Read more about how we could help solve some of the most common financial challenges here.
To learn more about what we could do for you and your employees, book a demo with us.