How financial wellbeing can affect employees’ productivity – and actions to take to address it
Financial and mental wellbeing are demonstrably linked. This isn’t a surprise, it’s common sense that financial insecurity takes a toll on the mind, but the numbers are a little sobering.
Most (90%) younger workers say their mental health is affected by the cost of living, according to Business in the Community’s Mental Health at Work (2018) report, while 66% of all employees say that their mental health is affected by their job security. That’s a lot of workers, all distracted by their worries and financial concerns.
These concerns lead to stress, inability to focus, absenteeism and long-term sickness absence. All of which have drastic effects on your organisation’s productivity and your bottom line.
It’s possible to combat this, though. By sensitively addressing financial concerns and working with people to ease their burdens – financially and mentally – you can reverse these effects. Here are some essential action you can take to address the issues.
Offer a competitive salary
By this, we don’t mean throw money at the problem. But it’s a good idea to ensure that you’re paying a good amount for the best work. Spend some time researching which companies retain the best and happiest talent, and see what they’re paying. Being proactive and generous will increase your people’s satisfaction and engagement, as well as their overall financial wellbeing.
Ask what you can do
Almost any workplace wellbeing situation can be improved by confidently asking how you can help. Before you make any changes – before you even start thinking of changes to make – consult your people. Ask what their concerns are, and how you could make those concerns easier to deal with. A lot of the time, the answers will be ‘please pay us more’ – see our point above. But sometimes, you’ll learn something completely new. And you’ll be better-equipped to make that problem go away.
Offer some flexibility
Life is expensive. Childcare bills especially so. Offering flexibility in terms of hours worked, or even allowing remote working, can make a huge difference to someone struggling with the demands of a young family member. This isn’t just good for financial wellbeing, it’ll relieve a lot of stress, too.
Not everyone understands how finances work. Payslips, tax codes, reward statements – the average employee might not be au fait with what a lot of this means. And that’s ok, we’re not all accountants. But when you have a solid understanding of the basics and the fundamentals, it is a lot easier to be financially confident. So, provide access to advice: online tools, webinars, information packs and helplines (as part of an employee assistance programme) are perfect ways to do so.
Providing employee benefits and reward packages as incentives for hard work is a good way to increase financial wellbeing and engagement. When people know they have goals to work toward that benefit not just the organisation, but themselves as well, you’ll find that productivity leaps.
The best ways to tackle financial insecurity and increase productivity involve openness, communication and understanding. Follow these three watchwords, and you’ll find that your people reward your organisation with hard work and loyalty.
This article is provided by Health Assured.
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