Since the coronavirus pandemic triggered lockdown, almost nine million workers have been furloughed, taking a hit to their income and of course, furthering the financial pressures faced.
We know that growing financial pressures have a knock on effect on employees, with 4.2 million days being taken off per year in the UK due to poor financial wellbeing, and businesses losing 1.6 billion pounds in revenue as a result, taking steps to support employees with mounting financial pressures is surely a no brainer.
Our award-winning team at OpenMoney have given us their top tips on how to support your team during this difficult time.
- Create an approachable culture within your workplace, it will help your employees feel at ease knowing they are able to reach out for support when needed. Having something like an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place helps employees get a handle on stress factors such as financial concerns, family problems and health worries, so that they don’t spill over into their work lives.
- Signpost or provide access to specialist help such as financial advice or debt management – our research found that only 23% of the UK’s SMEs provide their employees access to free financial advice. With the huge impact of Covid-19 on personal finances, along with the stress and worry that comes with it, now is the time more than ever to provide your employee’s access to specialist help.
- Provide mental well-being support – with a huge 67% of the UK population worried that they will not be able to pay off their debts due to Covid-19 and almost 30% of SMEs worried about their employee’s mental well-being, it is clear that more needs to be done to support employees in this space.
- Offer flexible working hours – This subject has really gathered steam in the press, especially in terms of offering parents the opportunity to work hours that complement their childcare arrangements, ultimately saving them money and giving them more time with their children. The benefits are clear to see and the pros of offering such a schedule to a workforce as a whole is becoming increasingly popular.
- Extend the care beyond the 9-5 – A good work-life balance is one of the biggest benefits that we as employers can offer those we work with. Our research found that 82% of SMEs feel like providing their employees access to benefits would be too complicated to set up and manage, however with WorkLife, it couldn’t be simpler. Not only does WorkLife give employees access to OpenMoney’s top-rate financial advice, but it also offers discounts on things such as restaurants, shops and even gym memberships, taking some of the pinch out of the cost of living and giving employees the best possible chance to save some money and improve their finances.
1, OpenMoney and YouGov, ‘The Advice Gap Report’, July 2020
2, WorkLife ‘Small Business Monitor’, July 2020
3, YouGov, July 2020