As the global economy continues to feel the stress and burden of the COVID-19 pandemic and the change it has created for organisations around the world, employees are feeling pressure to find and keep jobs that offer financial security and generous benefits.
Because financial benefits continue to be a great pull, it’s only natural that employers are eager to find tangible ways to help employees achieve financial wellbeing at work. People need to continue to be happy with their roles and resources that are offered to be engaged.
The link between financial wellbeing and employee satisfaction
Many in the UK have suffered career setbacks or lost their jobs due to the pandemic’s effect on business. However, others have been pleasantly surprised when their employers extended generous benefits and support during the height of the pandemic.
On the other hand, it’s not unheard of for companies to ignore their employees' calls for financial support, which may explain why workers are now walking away from their businesses. A recent article from the BBC reported that the number of open jobs surpassed 1 million for the first time ever in August.
So, what can account for these changes? The answer may be found in employee satisfaction and wellbeing at work, including financial benefits, programmes and how employers choose to promote financial wellness in the workplace.
If you’re seeking to retain long-time workers and attract new employees, look ahead to offering new benefits that can help with financial wellbeing. And there are a variety of different ways to do this.
Signs that your employees may need help with their financial health
|1. Notice signs of high turnover rates|
|2. Dissatisfaction with coming back to the office|
|3. Dissatisfaction with remote work arrangements|
|4. Reported feelings of lack of appreciation|
|5. Complaints of lack of financial benefits|
1. High turnover rates
Does it seem like workers are constantly leaving? Do new faces continue popping up around the office (or on Zoom calls) every day?
Like a small leak in a great ship, a steady exit of employees can cripple a large company. A high rate of turnover may be indicative of larger issues of employee dissatisfaction and lack of fulfillment, especially when it comes to financial wellbeing at work.
Anonymous surveys can be incredibly useful for gauging employee satisfaction levels. Surveys have the potential to reveal a lot about what employees feel they need to succeed. By simply allowing people to fill out a survey, they may feel their needs are heard and therefore can feel more assured that the company wants to help them in their financial wellbeing.
Causeway, a technology company with roughly 200 employees, struggled with wellbeing even prior to the pandemic. Although the company already had a robust wellbeing offering, survey results showed increased levels of stress and anxiety among employees. The team took measures to improve employee wellbeing and mental health through several methods:
- Increased communication of benefits and services
- Education around mental health
- Open conversations around personal difficulties
The Causeway team saw their success when new survey results revealed that 90% of employees believe that the company genuinely cares about their wellbeing. Absences from work decreased by 35%.
Without support from their employers, valuable workers may be lost to a steady stream of turnover as the company faces the high cost of replacement, particularly as a quarter of workers are actively planning to change employers in the next few months.
In the end, high turnover reflects the general health and stability of the company, pointing to feelings of employee under-appreciation due to poor compensation and lack of benefits.
2. Dissatisfaction with coming back to the office
Employee financial wellbeing may stem from more than just poor compensation. After the height of the pandemic in 2020, businesses around the world were forced to mandate work-from-home working arrangements (or worse, close their doors for good). Employees began enjoying the flexibility and freedom of working from the comfort of their own homes.
In 2021, however, some companies began calling their workers back to the office and experienced pushback from those wishing to have the ability to continue working remotely.
A recent poll of 3,000 UK professionals showed:
- 45% of people are either very or extremely interested in making remote working a permanent change
- Four in five (80%) said they would like to keep the ability to occasionally work from home
- 20% of workers said they want be reluctant to see the end of permanent office-based roles
Promoting financial wellbeing in the workplace, which may include benefits and financial resources, as well as increasing flexibility and independence in the workplace, doesn’t simply require employers to give raises or generous bonuses.
Financial health can be complex. When asking employees why they’re hesitant to return to their pre-pandemic office lives, you may find that many will cite that not having to commute saves money in petrol, car maintenance and tube costs.
As many HR leaders already understand the importance of flexible working, the daily workplace should be reimagined as something flexible and ultimately up to the employees’ discretion of whether they want to commute to the office or continue to work from home. In the era of the digital and remote workplace, offering the choice to either come to the office or remain at home can add immense potential to employee financial wellbeing with greater independence in managing their own decisions.
3. Poor remote work arrangements
In transitioning to a work-from-home arrangement, don’t ignore the burden of easing into remote working life after years spent in the steady routine of office life. Although working from home was first seen as temporary, many workers have realised that their homes simply didn’t come with an ideal work environment.
To meet this burden head-on, one aspect of improving remote working conditions is providing basic work equipment, such as:
- High performing laptops
- Laptop stands
- Extra monitors
- Wireless keyboards and mice
- Comfortable chairs
These can help workers be more comfortable and feel satisfied working from home.
In the past, companies offered to increase remote working stipends to help workers pay for required technology to make them feel comfortable at their home offices, whilst other companies opted for simply buying equipment and delivering it to workers at home.
One-on-one calls (weekly or fortnightly) between managers and employees can still be incredibly productive. Through a simple 30-minute phone call or video meeting, everyone can feel their voices are heard. More importantly, managers can learn how they can best serve their employees.
Ultimately, financial wellbeing can take the form of giving your employees the products and services they need to do their job away from the office. They’ll continue to succeed in their roles whilst staying present during day-to-day remote work hours.
4. Reported feelings of lack of appreciation
With so many arduous months of working during the pandemic, workers may be feeling increasing frequencies of burnout. They may also feel under-appreciated for their hard work given the circumstances.
Whilst drastic increases in salary and bonuses may be out of the question for the immediate future, know that employee satisfaction soars in celebrating everyone’s efforts. Now more than ever, employees need to be recognised and appreciated for the impact they’re making to support each other in never-before-seen work conditions.
Employee rewards not only help improve motivation and transform company culture, but they can also give your people a feel-good financial boost.
Take Kettle Foods for example. The organisation wanted to establish a monetary reward system that could be managed solely by their Executive Team. Working with Reward Gateway, the team tailored the system and granted specific permissions for senior managers to log into the platform, choose a card, write a personalised message and send an employee £15 or $£30 for a job well done.
And that monetary reward goes a long way. With the Reward Marketplace, employees can redeem an item of their choice from Amazon at no additional cost, helping them feel the true value of their hard work without having to purchase it themselves.
5. Complaints of lack of financial benefits
Your job also consists of providing employees with financial wellbeing through health and financial benefit programmes. Although you may be hesitant to offer money-related benefits to workers, such as financial education of employee loans, it’s crucial to understand how a financially healthy workforce can benefit the company, raising morale and confidence.
Today, 80% of employees are not satisfied with their employer when it comes to managing their finances. Whilst some companies may shy away from providing too much financial support, there are a number of unique financial benefits that can support employee financial wellbeing, including:
- Employee assistance programmes
- Financial education programmes
- Employee loans with salary deducted repayments
- Employee discount schemes
- Salary schemes that help employees stretch their income
- Employee wellbeing programmes
Ultimately, the idea is to take away some of the stress and financial burdens off the shoulders of employees and support them in financial planning, guidance and wellbeing.
When selecting financial wellbeing benefits for your organisation, understand your workforce and their unique needs to find the areas in which you want to focus the most effort.
These are challenging times for everyone, but you have an opportunity to show that you care about employee financial wellbeing. By recognising the signs that people need support and providing them with the systems, you’ll make a difference in their lives. Get in touch with us to learn more about how to support employees’ mental, physical and financial health.