How to ease employees’ money worries
Another financial side effect of the pandemic has been increased interest in early retirement among over-55s, especially for higher paid employees who are close to the lifetime allowance for pensions tax relief. In some sectors this is driving skills shortages and increasing pressure on remaining workforces. By contrast, falls in income will have dented the retirement plans of other employees, with knock-on issues for motivation and engagement.
Financial wellbeing is a multi-dimensional area that can encompass fair pay, reward strategy, retirement planning, debt management, employee share ownership and financial education. It requires a multi-disciplinary approach to implementation and organisations may struggle to identify who ‘owns’ financial wellbeing.
Michelle Sequeira UK diversity, equity and inclusion consulting leader at Mercer, outlines her three key actions for supporting employees' financial wellbeing:
1. Understand your current position. How are existing financial wellbeing programmes developing? What are the goals and objectives? What is the business case that will convince the board to invest?
2. Listen to the workforce to find out what the real issues are. Is it education? Is it budgeting? Is it debt or the need to save more?
3. Keep it manageable. Work out the most appropriate and effective options and choose services or solutions that will be most impactful for employees, now and in the future. Avoid implementing tactical solutions in isolation; instead ensure that everything is linked to a wider strategy.
This article appears in REBA’s latest research, conducted together with Mercer Marsh Benefits, which explores the relationship between environmental factors, responsible business and organisational purpose, at board, HR, line manager and supply chain level.
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