Organisations are starting to pay more attention to employee financial wellbeing as evidence builds that reducing money worries can help boost productivity.
This was one of the conclusions of a video documentary sponsored by Neyber, who were set up to improve the financial wellbeing of the UK workforce, hosted by Raconteur.
The video followed a study published earlier in 2017 by Neyber revealing the toll taken by money worries. Some 33% of employees cited it as their biggest life concern, more than ill-health, work/life balance or any other issue.
Charles Cotton, Senior Performance and Reward Advisor for CIPD, the professional body for HR executives, said: “We’re seeing an evolution in the marketplace as organisations move away from just dealing with physical issues around health and safety, towards a more integrated approach that also looks at mental wellbeing – of which financial wellbeing is an important part”
Around a quarter of employees said money worries had hit their ability to do their job, which Mr Cotton said was “shocking”.
Neyber Co-Founder Monica Kalia said employers and government needed to work together to solve the problem, providing access to information and education as well as ensuring access to the right financial products. Action would not only boost wellbeing but also the productivity of the UK workforce, which is 15% below the G7 average.
Gemma Godfrey, Founder and Chief Executive of online investment platform Moola, said: “There’s evidence that employees that have healthy finances are happier, they are more creative, and also they are less likely to leave.”
Ms Godfrey highlighted a new wave of easy-access digital services that can help ease personal financial problems, including online education, debt consolidation and savings and investment.
Neyber’s study showed that although employers have become more aware of the implications of financial stress, only 39% of employees said they felt their organisation cared about their financial wellbeing.
Ms Kalia said: “Only a handful of companies have actually embarked on any real strategy and I think that as we go through the next few months and years you’re going see a number of employers going to start focusing on financial wellbeing.”