7 tips to instil good money habits in first jobbers

There are few things more daunting than the first day at a new job. Lovely employers may have a desk waiting for you with your business cards, name plate, phone, laptop, stapler, clutch pencil and highlighter pen set. This is super (never happened to me). But here is what I really want to know on my first day:

  1. What’s the parking situation?
  2. How does the coffee machine work and do I need to join a work station rota-thingy?
  3. How do I fix the printer?
  4. Which shelf in the fridge can I use?
  5. Is that milk free and can I use it on my breakfast cereal?
    welcoming new starter

After that, I’m focused on: how many holidays I have left (pro-rata), how do I book them, when is pay day and who do I speak to about my expenses?

Here’s what I’m not so interested in:

  1. The code for the door – I will just buzz in for a while longer…
  2. The health and safety code (and who the fire-marshall is)
  3. How to ACTUALLY fix the printer
  4. Or how my pension works (this is a lie, as I love pensions - however I’m in new-boy character here)

So how do we get new starters properly thinking about their financial wellbeing from day one? It’s a big challenge. Many people don’t read the vast majority of joining bumph. So, I think we’re all agreed that paper is not the answer here.

Here are my 7 top tips:

  1. Have a financial wellbeing champion come and say ‘hi’ (this can be anyone and doesn’t need much training – just a big smile)

  2. Have a new-starter induction that includes financial wellbeing (and not just pension information)

  3. Put the key financial wellbeing dates in the calendar for every employee. The obvious ones are:

    February - End of tax year update (especially if you’ve recruited a higher earner – defined last year in The Guardian as anyone earning over £80k)

    May – Learning at Work Week. Maybe focus on some non-pension savings, so people have a short, medium and long-term plan

    September – Pension Awareness Day. Grab some post summer holiday momentum and do a pension update. Try to get the proportion of employees who’ve completed a death nomination form over 90 per cent

    November – Financial Capability Week. A fun session on budgeting and debt management guidance

  4. Ensure the new starter joins the relevant in-house social media platform and is aware of the chat domains on wellbeing and finance. We’ve done some early work in this space with our biggest client and it’s really blossoming…

  5. If you’re postponing for auto-enrolment (don’t by the way – I think it sucks), make sure the employee has more than just paper as a reminder they’ve been enrolled. You can run separate “just actually put you in the pension” 15 minute briefings each month. These could be delivered by WebEx with attendance compulsory. But why, James? Because three months in, employees will not read any of the pension guff. We all know this. We need to do something different…

  6. Include financial, as well as physical and mental, wellbeing in the probation activity. And mean it! Tick-boxing is easy to spot and wastes everyone’s time. This requires those running probationary activity to be wellbeing champions across the board

  7. Utilise free services from your suppliers and create a modest budget to supplement this with human beings. People like people. And they don’t need to be suited or wearing brogues. Embrace the polo shirt!

Just some ramblings from a man with a plan. Let’s get everyone rocking and rolling about money from day 1!

The author James Biggs, consultancy and wellbeing director at Lorica.

This article is provided by Lorica. 

If you'd like to hear a lot more on the topic of employee wellbeing, and also specifically from Lorica, then sign up for Employee Wellbeing Congress on 20 June in London, where they'll be exhibiting.

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