As millions of people face job loss or steep pay cuts, the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruptions caused to economies around the globe will pose a new challenge to economic planners. This also contributes to the massive destruction of demand across industries, especially in sectors such as hospitality, tourism, and aviation, among others.

Unfortunately, financial well-being is not something usually taken into consideration when planning a workplace well-being program. Fortunately, that’s been changing.

Financial well-being, and how it affects work environments

Financial well-being inculcates the expertise and knowledge required to handle personal finances in a balanced and safe manner. Positive financial well-being contributes to a greater sense of trust and security of an employee in their financial position and positively impacts mental health, reduces financial stressors, and improves their quality of life.  

  • Productivity: Stressors stemming from economic issues have caused employees to be unproductive during office hours, affecting their productivity to a great extent. 
  • Mental Well-being: As a direct link, it is essential to remember that most adults with debt problems have also reported a decline in mental health. 

How do employers profit from their employees’ financial well-being?

Employers should encourage and endorse a positive workplace by investing in a financial wellness program for their employees, which has many advantages, especially in increasing productivity and retaining employees. Some of these include:

Productivity

Lower absenteeism, less external distractions, equals less time spent handling personal financial issues at work. All this amounts to improved productivity levels among employees.
Although an increase in wages and adding benefits are of great help to workers, it is of higher importance to their well-being to be encouraged to realise the value of ensuring they are using all the financial resources available to them efficiently.
Employees feel valued and cared for when they trust the company they work for and the independent experts they make available to them, enhancing staff satisfaction. The number of days lost due to coping with financial worries will significantly decrease with on-site workshops and consultations available. 

Retention of Workers

One of the primary priorities for many HR departments is employee retention, and one way to promote this is financial well-being. Employees who think their issues are being taken care of by their employers are more likely to stay loyal to the organisation.
There is hope that providing employees with financial health services will help with the problems brought on by financial hardship. Employers also reap the advantage of creating a happier, healthier, and more efficient workforce by introducing financial wellness programs. 
While employers recognise the value of combating financial stress among workers, these need to result in actual initiatives that benefit employees. It’s time to lift the bar on employers to take care of their employees’ financial well-being.

Challenges faced unique to Millennials

Millennials have unprecedented debt today. The lack of jobs and lower starting wages resulting from the 2008 recession and consequent slow economic growth have decreased the Millennial worker’s income potential.  Millennials are also worried about how much they can save for retirement. It’s possible to make a job offer more enticing to millennials with benefits that promote financial literacy and prosperity. It is not enough to have conventional pension benefits; few millennials intend to remain long enough with one company to take advantage of them. 
However, employee-centric benefits that show an employer’s willingness to support their employee’s personal growth are key factors that attract millennials.

Companies with impactful wellness programs

Although employee-centric financial wellness programs in the workplace are nothing new, they have grown immensely over the past few years.

  1. Accenture cares for its workers’ mindfulness. The consultant company provides employee assistance services that provide confidential treatment for stress, drug addiction, anxiety, and depression. The creative wellness program of Accenture encourages workers to set targets and provides incentives for performing healthy ventures. They also provide exclusive prices and deductions for gyms and wellness centres. They have also developed an online fitness app so that workers can work out at any time.
  1. Second, Google’s campus provides a wellness program with on-site health professionals, including physicians, physical therapy, chiropractic and massage facilities, access to gym centres, workshops, and group bikes. By taking cooking courses, coding degree programs, or guitar lessons, you can also choose new skills, to name a few of the exciting classes Google offers. 

Google also provides financial health resources for its staff, for example, financial counsellors and facilities for financial planning. They also provide flexible hours, and holiday time is provided to staff, helping Googlers have a proper balance.

Visit the EarlySalary app to read more about financial wellness.

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