Author: Francis Goss
In our latest podcast, Francis Goss, Director of People Experience Consulting at Gallagher, talks to James Marsh, HRreview podcast presenter, about assisting employees with their financial wellbeing.
A staggering 67 percent of Brits said that they are currently concerned about their finances1 - this number increases when you look at the 18-54 year-old sector. There is a huge concern about personal finances.
Financial wellbeing should now be a top priority
The current cost-of-living crisis has brought financial wellbeing into sharp focus. Francis outlines the depth and impact of this issue on employees and organisations alike and looks at the recent research conducted by Gallagher and on people’s attitudes towards their financial wellbeing. Francis highlights some of the options available to organisations, how they can best assist their employees, what key considerations should be kept in mind and what tools and resources to deploy.
Employees need to have the capacity to handle financial shocks, says Francis. Confidence, control and capacity feed into the notion of financial wellbeing. This includes being able to deal with emergency, or crisis payments.
When is the crisis going to end?
When you know there is an end to it, psychologically, it helps you through that, outlines Francis.
Francis further said: “If we look at some of the other drivers of inflation, there are some glimmers of hope.”
For example, commodity prices have been falling. They rose significantly after the initial invasion of Ukraine.
There has been no time to recover
This financial crisis is coming off the back of years of struggling with Covid.
Francis said: “We can’t underestimate the impact that Covid had on personal wellbeing. So whilst it is out of the news, we can’t forget what we have been through not only as a nation, but globally too.”
There is now a greater pressure to return to the office. We cannot underestimate the financial pressure this is adding, perhaps adding a £200 monthly commute costs to people’s bills.
Therefore, we have inflation, and also have costs going up. In this way, Covid is to some extent still having an impact on people’s financial wellbeing.
What are employers doing now to support their employees?
Every employer has to have a pension in place for their workers. But employers also offer a rich array of benefits, a lot of which are to help employees save money, these include initiatives such as the cycle-to-work scheme, which is a tax-efficient way of buying a bike. However, the challenge is often how well these benefits are communicated to employees.
Francis said: “There is always a cohort which is difficult to engage with. Accessibility of benefits is just as important as the richness of offering for employees.”