Many employees in the United Kingdom feel unsupported by their employer when it comes to their financial well-being.
This is according to a survey of more than 2,000 employees and HR professionals by Nudge Global, which found that 67% of employees feel this way.
The survey also found that just 7% of employees were confident in speaking with their employer about any financial issues they may be experiencing and 52% said they worry about money at least once a week.
Additionally, a quarter (25%) of employees believe that financial stress has had a detrimental effect on their mental health. Furthermore, 85% of employees cited financial education as extremely important to them, and a further 87% feel being in control of their finances was more important than earning as much as possible.
From an employer’s perspective, two in five (41%) have seen employees’ financial issues affect their business negatively, an increase of 26% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with over three-quarters of respondents (78%) experiencing concern over the impact the pandemic on employees’ financial well-being, now, and in future months. The knock-on effect of these financial worries has seen loss of concentration and mistakes, according to 40% of employers, while 35% have noticed staff being unproductive at work.
However, over half (53%) of employers would like to improve their employees’ financial well-being but do not know where to start, with almost nine in 10 (88%) believing support from board or upper management would be beneficial, with an additional 44% wanting to have more HR control to implement changes to overall enhance employee financial well-being.
Furthermore, 43% of employers believe that having a financial well-being strategy helps with employee retention and creating a happier workforce, with 37% citing this increases employee engagement and loyalty, and a further third (33%) believing this increases productivity.
“This year’s events have had a huge impact on many aspects of people’s lives, including their financial well-being, and this is taking a toll on business performance and productivity,” said Jeremy Beament, co-founder at Nudge. “There are powerful actions that employers can take right now to help employees feel more in control of their finances, from opening up the conversation about money within the workplace to helping them develop the right skills and knowledge. Not only will this improve their general well-being, it will enable them to dedicate more time and attention to their job, boosting overall company performance. But these initiatives must be driven from the top. Leadership teams have a responsibility to empower every level of their business and ensure their teams feel supported as we navigate this uncertain period.”