Are you providing enough financial support to your employees?
The adoption of financial wellbeing programmes by UK employers is falling short. Our latest UK Employee Benefits Watch research shows no matter the age of your employees’ each will be dealing with their own financial burdens.
Some may be saving to go on holiday or even buying a house, whilst others could be struggling with debt. What’s shocking is only 16% of employers offer support towards these goals.
And that's even in the face of recent research that shows those employees suffering from debt are less productive as they lose on average 6 days per year more than those who do not have any financial concerns.
Providers offering fintech solutions for the workplace are becoming more diverse and sophisticated – yet many employers are not taking this opportunity to help employees with things such as savings, debt consolidation and budgeting.
The good news is as the demand for support is increasing, a significant amount of employers are starting to listen to employee needs and are beginning to build financial wellness into their reward strategy. Currently only 10% of employers have a financial wellness strategy already in place, but 51% are planning to implement one.
So what’s stopping UK employers supporting employees’ financial wellbeing?
64% of employers are unsure about how much financial support outside of mandatory salary pensions they should provide. As a result of this, it isn’t just adoption of financial wellness strategies as part of benefit programmes that are low, but financial education campaigns within the workforce have also fallen behind mental and physical wellness campaigns.
Our research revealed that 66% of employers still do not offer any financial education campaigns as part of their total reward package, in spite of the fact that financial worries have a serious impact on mental health.
So why is this? 42% of employers are concerned with the risk of getting too involved in their finances and therefore hesitant to build financial support as a key pillar of their reward strategy. Additionally 25% of employers worry about the cost of implementing a financial wellness campaign.
Tech is the solution!
Our latest research has shown employers are recognising they need to meet this need and want to incorporate fintech solutions into their reward strategies. Support offered could range from implementing a whole platform to money management apps such as ‘Mint’, ‘You Need a Budget’ or ‘Acorn’ all designed to help save, manage money and even get out of debt.
Employees’ rate easy access to benefits as the third most influential factor in whether a benefits programme meets their needs. Most solutions for financial wellness are technology based.
A solution that has been designed with the consumer experience in mind, such as many of the fintech apps targeted to help with financial wellness, allows employers to deliver an innovative benefits programme that improves financial wellbeing of their employees.
Financial apps can help with day to day budgeting and even financial education and with employees looking at their phones multiple times a day, employers are using this opportunity to provide simple and instant access.
What to look for when implementing financial wellness technology
First you need to find out what financial support your employees need. Once you understand this, you can develop a programme that will support the wide range of financial challenges that employees are facing across your organisation. For example, offering different types and levels of support depending on the employees’ life stage, such as student debt support or help-to buy schemes for the younger workforce and more detailed pension plans or free will writing for the older.
Using technology, you can also feed data and learnings back into your programme to allow you to develop and make it more suitable for your employees. If certain support options are used more often, for example free mortgage advice clinics or apps, then you can adapt spend to focus more on this area.
Offering financial wellness support as part of your total reward package will make a huge impact to the wellbeing of your employees. Offering a developed technology-based solution which provides easy access to financial support, makes employees feel more valued and supported within your organisation, which in turn will drive the success of your business as they are not facing financial burdens alone.
Support is crucial to an employees’ productivity, by connecting employees to tools that can assist them in managing their finances, it will allow you to take advantage of a financial wellness strategy.
So why does this matter? Our research has shown that meeting your employees’ financial wellness needs increases employee advocacy by 76% - the opportunity is out there, now it’s time for employers to grab it.
This article was provided by Thomsons Online Benefits.
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