What is financial wellbeing in the workplace and why should you make it a priority?

What is financial wellbeing in the workplace and why should you make it a priority?

​​As the UK navigates a cost-of-living crisis, supporting staff – particularly those on hourly paid contracts who are more likely to experience financial difficulty – should be front of mind. Happy, financially-secure employees will help your organisation increase retention, reduce operational costs and enjoy supercharged company performance. So, how can you best set up your hourly paid employees for financial wellness? Let’s take a look…

What is financial wellbeing in the workplace and why does it matter?

Financial wellbeing is a term we will hear a lot more of over the coming years. But what does it actually mean? In the workplace, it refers to how employees feel about their day-to-day relationship with money and the control they have over their financial future.

If an employee has healthy financial wellbeing, they feel secure and confident bout their finances. They have minimal worries about money and know how to address worries if they arise. Someone with poor financial wellbeing, on the other hand, is struggling financially or is stressed about money. Their concerns, for example, could relate to debt, rising expenses and lack of savings.

So, how does financial wellness translate to the workplace and what is the impact on business? Well, one study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), which looked into financial wellbeing and the implications for workplace productivity, revealed that 10% of full-time and part-time employees missed days at work and 18% of workers noticed a decline in productivity due to financial worries. CEBR predicted this to cost UK employers up to £6.2 billion per year – and these are pre-pandemic and cost-of-living crisis numbers.

As many as 24 million UK adults don’t feel confident managing their money, and according to the Office of National Statistics, this spring, around three in four adults (77%) reported feeling very or somewhat worried about the rising costs of living.

As a potential recession looms, addressing financial wellbeing and providing security for hourly paid employees has never been more important. Employers need to protect their employeestaff from s from financial hardship – and this goes far beyond just paying a fair wage.  

HR teams should be investing time and resources into building effective financial wellbeing programmes to ensure a content, productive workforce, which, as we all know, provides endless benefits to a business.

Tips for supporting financial wellness in the workplace

Understand the circumstances

The first step to supporting financial wellness is understanding the types of problems and worries your employees may be dealing with. Have they recently had to part with a large sum of money for an emergency? Are they struggling to make repayments on a loan? Is the rising cost of living forcing them to dip into important savings?

Whatever it may be, if an employee is in financial difficulty, there’s a good chance they are feeling isolated. Showing concern and empathy will help them feel more relaxed and well-positioned to find appropriate solutions. This, in turn, will help you create a positive workplace culture where people feel comfortable speaking about money.

As a whole, we need to normalise conversations about money. Talk Money Week, which takes place every November, is a great step in the right direction. The awareness campaign encourages people in the UK to talk about money management and recognise the work being done by thousands of organisations around the country to improve financial wellbeing.

Provide resources

Implementing an effective financial education programme will go a long way in boosting employee financial wellbeing. Providing your staff with access to the right advice and resources will help them manage their finances and empower them to go on to make better financial decisions. This could come in the form of online budgeting tools, mental health resources, money management software, debt advice services, and investment advice and management services.

Mental Health at Work, an online gateway developed by mental health charity Mind, has some great free tools, resources and case studies on its website, including a simple guide to debt from the Bank Workers Charity (BWC) and practical guidance for employers from CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.

Offer benefits

A lot has changed over the last couple of years. The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way people work, and workers’ expectations have shifted as a result. Remote and flexible working has accelerated and there is more pressure on employers to offer a diverse range of perks.

The number of job vacancies in the UK reached a record high of 1.3 million in the three months to May 2022. To address this, understanding what matters most to young professionals at work, as well as what turns them off, is crucial.

Gen Z (under 25s) are rapidly entering the workforce, and just like millennials, Gen X and baby boomers, they have their own specific attributes and behaviours. According to Indeed, this demographic is competitive, entrepreneurial and open to embracing change – some of their key values are flexibility, in-person interactions and working with modern technology.

Have you considered introducing a benefits package to support multigenerational staff under financial pressure? This can encompass everything from special discounts and rewards to annual leave policies, retirement planning support and wellness programmes. You could even offer staff free access to a professional financial advisor and provide HR teams with relevant training so they can deliver one-to-one coaching sessions.

Utilise financial wellbeing tools

Financial wellbeing tools will improve the financial wellness of your workforce while enabling you to streamline business operations, retain staff, reduce turnover and cut costs.

Here at All Gravy, our suite of products gives hourly paid employees within the retail and hospitality sectors access to a percentage of their wage after completing shifts, without impacting cashflow.

The app, which synchronises and connects with your payroll and workforce management systems, provides a full overview of employees’ finances, which removes financial stress and supports them in budgeting and building savings. Because staff can get paid straight away, they are more motivated to take shifts. This creates a happier, more productive and financially empowered team.

Boosting financial wellness with All Gravy

Since launching in 2020, All Gravy has signed over 150 hospitality businesses, and we recently secured €3.2 million of seed funding to take our services and support to the next level.

Since 2020, All Gravy has gone from strength to strength. We recently secured €3.2 million of seed funding to take our services and support to the next level and launch into the UK market.

One of the businesses we work with, Madkastellet, an innovative catering company with 18 locations in Copenhagen and close to 500 employees, has found that, since adopting All Gravy, employee satisfaction has improved, the number of shifts taken by employees has increased and hiring costs have reduced significantly. According to the HR team, it has also given Madkastellet’s youngest employees a much better understanding of their taxes and paychecks.

We want to help you support your hourly paid employees so they feel secure and in control of their finances. Find out what we can do for your organisation's financial wellbeing and experience our unique people system for yourself by booking a demo.