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09 Nov 2021
by Paul Rhodes

Eight ways to talk money in the workplace

Throughout the pandemic employers’ focus has quite rightly been on supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of their staff. But as we enter the next phase, with programmes like furlough and payment holidays having come to an end, and living costs on the rise, financial wellbeing is now just as important.

 

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Even before the pandemic, the state of the nation’s personal finances was poor. Nine million adults struggled to keep up with their bills and 11.5 million had less than £100 in savings, according to our UK Strategy for financial wellbeing (2020) report. This low level of financial resilience was a factor in the financial impact of the pandemic, making the situation is even worse for many.

Despite these findings, 55% of employers don’t offer any support to improve financial wellbeing, even though 77% of employees admit to worrying about money at work, which can affect productivity, talent retention and absence rates, found Close Brother’s Financial Wellbeing Index (2019).

At the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) we are helping to change that. To mark Talk Money Week, here are eight ways to get you talking about money in the workplace:

  1. Use Talk Money Week to help you make a case for financial wellbeing as part of your overall wellbeing strategy, involving your colleagues, leadership, finance and HR functions.
  2. Launch a staff survey to help you understand your colleagues’ money worries and what support they’d find helpful. Using results from the survey you can identify common themes and topics, and explore what MoneyHelper content you can syndicate to your own website or intranet.
  3. Promote the support your organisation offers at key life stages. For example, our UK Strategy for financial wellbeing report found that 22 million adults don’t feel confident about planning for retirement, so focus on how much they should be saving into their pension and their options for accessing it.
  4. Promote the financial wellbeing support you already provide – this could include employee assistance programmes, workplace pensions, childcare vouchers, season ticket or cycle loans, a credit union partnership or pre-retirement support.
  5. Signpost to MoneyHelper’s free money guidance, debt advice, pensions guidance and online tools in your internal communications. Our step-by-step Couch to Financial Fitness programme is a good place to start.
  6. Organise a financial wellbeing fair to showcase what is available. Invite providers who deliver workplace-based support such as financial education or advice to promote their services to your people. Your HR team can also attend industry events, such as the REBA Employee Wellbeing Congress to hear from experts and meet providers to learn about their services.
  7. Use Talk Money Week to launch new employee financial wellbeing support services, such as a payroll saving scheme, partnership with a credit union, payroll-deducted interest free loans or hardship support.
  8. Take part in one of our pilot programmes or launch your own based on innovative ideas in behavioural insights. For example, our Money Guiders programme is open to any individual, team or organisation giving non-regulated money guidance as part of their support.

We’re here to provide you with free, impartial, government-backed guidance and support. Get in touch with our UK team to find out more or visit our website.

The author is Paul Rhodes, MaPS partnership coordination manager – Midlands and North Region.

This article is provided by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).  

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