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Everyone experiences stress in the workplace at some point, but when three-fifths of surveyed workers report mental issues caused by money concerns, clearly something needs to change.
The burden of financial stress can be lessened by careful budgeting and saving. But there are a lot of positive steps an employer can take in order to manage the stress felt by staff. And reducing that stress will boost engagement and productivity.
There are lots of effects of financial stress.
Relentlessly worrying about personal finances can leave employees feeling undervalued, distracted and hopeless. It’s a constant worry and it can lead to serious conditions like anxiety and depression. These drastically affect the ability to work happily and productively, and contribute to absenteeism.
In the very worst cases, poor financial wellbeing affects people physically. Medication, food and activity are all expenses, and cutting back on these can have a serious negative effect.
With over 60% of employees in the UK experiencing work-related mental health issues, it’s time to make some changes. Improving their financial wellbeing won’t magically solve every problem—but it’s a good place to start.
And employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from better financial wellbeing in the workplace. Employers can also see gains, through improved productivity and morale, when staff feel secure financially.
Here are just a few ways that employers can help to minimise money stress:
Education: Provide financial education and guidance as part of a wider wellbeing programme. Even understanding their payslip can be complex for employees — simplifying some processes, and showing how others work, can reduce the burden of stress.
Offer competitive salaries: This one might sound obvious — and expensive — but doing some research, and seeing what other companies in your sector offer, is worth the effort. If you’re seen to be active and generous, you’ll make your workers happier, and attract the best talent.
Reward hard work: On top of that, an attractive benefits package is also an option. Performance incentives in the shape of bonuses, clarity about pay bands and good private pension schemes are a great starting point.
Be flexible: Try offering flexible work schedules, and consider remote working. These can reduce childcare bills for many employees, which will be very welcome.
Reduce Commuting costs: For city centre workers in particular, car parking can cost team members a considerable sum over the course of the year. You can assist your staff by identifying areas around the workplace with either free or cheap parking. You could also introduce a cycle to work scheme, or encourage walking for those within a reasonable distance. This would have the added benefit of healthier staff, which could lead to a more productive workplace.
Give your employees the gift of financial wellbeing, minimising their stress and making life easier — and they’ll reward you with loyalty, focus and hard work.
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