Financial wellbeing: how to offer the right benefits


Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2019 showed that trust for business and government is at an all-time low. By contrast, trust in people’s own employer remains higher than any other single institution. Our own research published in The Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing 2019-20 revealed that on average 76% of UK employees trust their employer. 

Financial wellbeing: how to offer the right benefits

We are living in the age of the employee. This presents a unique opportunity for employers to establish a relationship with their people in a way that was previously never possible. Edelman’s study revealed that those who trust their employer are far more likely to become brand ambassadors, remain loyal, engaged and committed than those who are sceptical about their employer. 

Listening to and hearing employees

The employee experience should be a reflection of your brand values. It is vital to spend time listening and understanding your employees’ needs. Our research has shown that, when it comes to financial wellbeing, there is a stark mismatch between what a lot of employers are offering and what employees actually really need and want. 

A long legacy and auto enrolment mean that pensions are by far the most widely available benefit for employees. However, our research has shown that the main priority for people who are suffering from low financial wellbeing is getting out of debt, closely followed by getting better at saving.

It would be easy to think those who have low financial wellbeing don’t know how to budget. This simply isn’t the case. Less than 5% of people with low financial wellbeing don’t know how to budget. Low financial wellbeing is actually to do with habits than knowledge and often people end up in a vicious cycle due to high-interest loans and credit cards. 

When looking at financial wellbeing benefits in your organisation, consider the following three steps: 

  1. Spend time asking your employees what they want. It’s easy to think that low financial wellbeing only impacts a minority of people. You might find that there is a high demand for tools and products that go beyond pension investments.
  2. Focus on your employees with the greatest needs first. Those who are in debt and/or have little or no savings can be living in quite a precarious financial situation. Benefits can help employees out of a debt cycle, such as instant access savings, flexible access to their salary and accessible and affordable borrowing. If there is hesitation around the organisation, consider launching a pilot where you could gain even more insights and then put these back into a full launch
  3. Present your financial wellbeing benefits as one offering. Aim for an employee-centred working experience, which means that benefits are relevant, communicated clearly, are easy to find and take-up.

Interested in finding out more about financial wellbeing?

Join us on 12 November for our webinar: ‘How to implement a financial wellbeing programme’. Register here.

This article is provided by Salary Finance. 


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