Stress impacts employee mental health and performance – here’s how you can help
A recent survey by Schroders Personal Wealth, conducted before soaring inflation started making headlines, found that more than half of Britons are already stressed about their financial situation.
Many employees are reluctant to discuss money worries with employers. As a result, your workplace may have many people bottling up their financial difficulties and missing out on support that you could help with.
You might be wondering if financial wellbeing is relevant to your workforce. Worrying about money isn’t limited to only those struggling with debt or younger workers who are typically lower paid (around half of under 35-year-olds say financial pressures affect their ability to do their job). Everybody can struggle with money worries at any points.
Help employees feel in control
Financial wellbeing isn’t about how much people earn, it’s about feeling in control of their finances, whatever their salary. The link between financial wellbeing and mental health is one you should consider if you want your workplace to be performing at its best.
Financial worries can start a domino effect of health issues by increasing stress levels, which often disturbs sleep. Stressed, worried, and tired employees find it harder to concentrate at work. They become easily distracted and struggle to maintain focus.
If stress persists it can turn into poor mental health. Stress can also trigger physical health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Not to mention that when budgets become tight it might mean spending on the things that support physical health, such as more costly healthy foods and gym memberships, could be cut back.
Employers can play a supportive role
With financial worries affecting mental health and workplace performance, employers can play a supportive role in helping employees talk about and overcome some of their financial stress.
Start by helping to make conversations around money as easy as possible to have in the workplace. Because problems can’t be solved if nobody’s willing to talk about them.
You can also promote any employee benefits that can help, such as an employee assistance programme with financial experts available to offer help or a health cash plan. For every employee with a health cash plan, there’s an employee supported with their everyday health costs, such as trips to the dentist or the need to see a physio.
Find out how a Health Shield health cash plan could support your employees.
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At Health Shield we're passionate about improving people's everyday health.