3 crucial reflections for reward managers on how to improve financial wellbeing across generations

Money concerns are one of the biggest causes of stress in the modern workplace. In fact, according to PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 53 per cent of employees are stressed about their finances. With over half of the workforce worried, there is no denying the importance of financial benefits that protect your workforce. 

Looking in a mirror
However, one of the main challenges that arise when considering financial wellbeing solutions is the result that age can have on the effectiveness of the benefits offered. Although financial worry can affect anyone, the worries an individual may have can be affected by financial targets and where they are in life. For example, younger workers have many financial challenges such as housing and managing student debt. These unique problems are frequently ignored when providing a wider workforce with a financial wellbeing strategy, and employers often find it difficult to financially engage with their younger workers.   

Below, we explore three crucial reflections for reward managers when providing an employee benefit scheme that improves financial wellbeing across a multi-generational workforce, especially with younger workers: 

  1. Individuality and Personalisation 
    Before you supply your employees with generalised benefit schemes to try and improve their financial wellbeing, it’s important to think of individual differences between generations in the workforce. Different generations have unique financial challenges so it’s vital that you assess who would benefit from what specific reward. This way, you can offer personalised benefits that give your employees what they really want and need.  

    For example, younger generations with unique financial challenges such as getting on the property ladder may be interested in investments and savings benefits which allow them to save for their first home. In comparison to this, older generations may prefer pension benefits. It is therefore important that you supply personalised benefits for your multi-generational workforce in order to apply an effective financial wellbeing strategy. 

  2. Money Management Advice 
    Many employees struggle to understand various financial issues that may relate to them and often fail to make use of the financial benefits on offer in the workplace. This is especially true for younger workers who are not quite sure of their financial future. You can help improve your employees’ financial wellbeing by providing them with the knowledge and education to make informed decisions. In fact, according to Barclays, one in five workers say that they would value broader financial guidance from their employer.

    Benefit schemes such as employee assistance programmes will provide your employees with the opportunity to discuss financial concerns with someone who is fully trained in offering sound financial advice. Employee assistance programmes are a great tool to supply your employees with direct, confidential contact with experts who can support individuals with areas causing them emotional distress, including money troubles. 

    One of the largest benefits to this is that trained finance professionals will offer specialist financial support. Different generations are likely to need different financial information depending on their personal situation and what they are aiming for. Having an employee assistance programme in place means that different generations have increased accessibility to professionals who can offer specialist financial wellbeing information. For example, younger workers can develop their knowledge of saving for the housing market. 

  3. Salary Sacrifice 
    There are a multitude of different employee benefits that can be offered to employees through salary sacrifice. Salary sacrifice is the process involved when an employee exchanges part of their salary in return for a particular benefit. The money is usually taken before tax, which means there are substantial cost savings. This is what makes salary sacrifice schemes such a large feature in improving your employees’ financial wellbeing. 

    One of the best benefits to salary sacrifice schemes are that they work well across a multi-generational workforce. They can be offered on schemes such as pension contributions, cycle to work schemes and ultra-low emission vehicles. This means that as an employer, you can improve your employees’ financial wellbeing by offering them less expensive benefits. For example, a younger worker may want a new car but cannot afford it. This is where a car leasing scheme would allow them access to one through discounted prices. 

    Salary sacrifice creates a financial benefit which can be combined on several schemes meaning there is something for everyone in your multi-generational workforce.

It comes down to providing a great workforce experience
Regardless of age, money equals security and freedom for most people. When your employees are not on top of their finances, it can cause them anxiety, stress and other wellbeing issues which have a direct impact on their ability to function at work. By offering benefits to your employees that make them feel secure and rewarded, there is likely to be an increase in employee productivity in the workplace.  

This article is provided by Busy Bees Benefits. 

If you'd like to further develop your knowledge about employee wellbeing, a day at the Employee Wellbeing Congress on 20 June in London, is the essential event for you.

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