It takes two to tango with financial wellbeing, says Fiserv compensation and benefits director
“There isn’t a silver bullet that solves financial wellbeing issues and challenges,” explained Waller. “I think it's highly subjective. We employ many people across a number of different functions, and every challenge around financial wellbeing is potentially different.”
Fiserv, which has a workforce of 1,700 employees in the UK, provides financial services, technology, and payments processing to businesses and institutions globally. Speaking at REBA’s recent webinar, Waller insisted that organisations should get started with a financial wellbeing strategy, especially in the current financial climate with the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine.
“It’s important to start on that journey and create a broad offering that can help people,” he said. “But I do think it takes two to tango, because you can really push on these initiatives but you need people to pull and engage with the resources. I think that’s an ongoing challenge.”
But he warned that some organisations may suffer “paralysis from analysis” about putting financial wellbeing strategies in place – despite an array of support and education-based solutions that can be implemented for free. “I would encourage anybody, like we have at Fiserv, to put something in place because at the very least you’ll help one person but you’re likely going to help a lot more than just one.”
Waller also discussed how offering financial wellbeing could assist with talent attraction and retention, and how the offering at Fiserv has used the benefit to cultivate an inclusive culture that champions belonging.
“In the current environment, and in such a buoyant labour market, talent retention is a high priority for many employers,” he explained. “It certainly is [a high priority] for Fiserv and I don't think financial wellbeing on its own is going to be the real differentiator, but as part of a broader offering, it can make a difference.
“Helping people focus on the future and feel that they belong is a great angle to help alleviate concern. We've done a lot of work at Fiserv to introduce a new job architecture that focuses on helping people develop their career internally. So we are not so reliant on the external market but will help our current employees understand how they can progress through the organisation to help relieve worries and anxiety in the current environment.”
He added that Fiserv wants to help people feel they belong and have a future within the organisation, which it hopes will alleviate some of their concern. Additionally, it is being more transparent about compensation so people are more likely to stay and progress their career. He also believes that having financial wellbeing speaks volumes about an organisation’s culture and the approach of any employer.
“Having something in place around financial wellbeing does speak volumes. It says, we care about our employees, we invest in benefits and we can see a real return on investment and it's relevant to everybody.
It would be naive to think that a minority of people have issues, concerns or anxieties about their future finances. So, it’s something you can put in place that absolutely does appeal to a large audience.”
During the webinar, Waller also shared some financial wellbeing 'quick wins':
- Education sessions on finance and benefits can really help employees understand salary sacrifice benefits and the value of those mechanisms.
- EV car salary sacrifice scheme ticks an ESG box and helps people save money on leasing from the high street.
- Asking for discounts from the local area [near the office] Waller said: “if you don’t ask you don’t get”.
- Providing fresh fruit and snacks from local providers helps people save money on breakfast and lunch, while also encouraging people back to the office, and gives a sense of community.