Supporting employees through the cost-of-living crisis

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Health Assured team

08 September 2022

According to recent data, 94% of UK employees suffer from money worries. 

 

At Health Assured, we’ve seen an 82% increase in financial-related calls to our helpline (July 2022 compared to July 2021). Financial worries continue to strain the health and wellbeing of employees up and down the country. 

These worries are often debilitating and can significantly impact an employee’s performance. As an employer, you must provide adequate support to your employees during these difficult times. No one should have to go through these struggles alone; that’s why we’ve provided a range of techniques; so you can help your employees with the rising cost of living. 

 

Money and mental health 

Mental health and money worries are often intricately linked. For example, when employees feel they don’t have enough money to meet life’s demands, they will likely feel low and anxious – which can impact their personal and professional lives.

Due to the stigma around talking about money, many employees are too embarrassed to discuss their financial problems and suffer in silence. To help your employees and protect their health and wellbeing, you must work to remove this stigma, encouraging employees to reach out, talk about their worries and seek the support they need. 

 

How to promote financial wellbeing in the workplace

With living costs increasing year on year, more and more employees are struggling to find ways to make ends meet. The workplace is a great place to engage and guide employees with finances – as they already engage with money through wages and pension schemes.

Your organisation must create an environment where employees feel comfortable and secure opening up about their financial worries. To help with this, we have provided some tips on how to support your employee's wellbeing during these difficult times:

 

Introduce a financial wellbeing policy

Protecting and measuring the financial wellbeing of your employees is a moral duty. As such, your organisation should have a policy that protects your employees and your organisation. Such a policy may include:

  • Offering links to governmental advice, like the Money and Pensions Service.
  • Ensuring employees are fully aware of their legal and business entitlements.
  • Providing insight on monetary challenges and opportunities to all employees.

The purpose of an effective financial wellbeing policy is to create a workplace that is both supportive and beneficial to your employee’s needs – helping them be happier, healthier and more productive.

 

Reduce the financial stigma

It‘s no secret that a stigma is attached to financial wellbeing. Feelings of shame and embarrassment frequently prevent employees from addressing their financial struggles. These worries are personal for many individuals and, as a result, should not be discussed at work. However, with the rising cost of living, more and more people are struggling to manage their finances. 

To help dismantle this stigma, your organisation must ensure that the workplace is a judgement-free environment – encouraging open and honest communication about money and personal finances. By encouraging your workforce to be open and share their experiences, you can help them realise they are not alone in their struggles.

 

Listen with empathy 

You must take time to check in with your employees. When you engage with employees about their concerns, you must actively listen to what they share. This engagement involves being fully present without thinking about what to say next. You must consciously decide to engage with your staff, stepping into their shoes and listening with empathy and understanding. It's important to ask open-ended questions that show your engagement with the conversation. These questions will make sure your employees feel heard and understood.

 

Provide education and guidance

You can educate your employees by hosting a financial wellbeing workshop. This workshop will serve as an educational tool and involve an external professional: a financial expert who can teach your employees about managing their finances. These experts usually draw from their own life experiences to deliver information that resonates with your employees.

By offering this support, your workplace can become a more focused environment where employees are less likely to become distracted or disengaged by financial worries. Furthermore, by providing such guidance, your workforce will see that you actively care about their financial wellbeing, which can help motivate your employees – increasing productivity, morale and retention.

 

Constant communication

Prices in the UK continue to rise, and, at the moment, there is no sign that this will stop. As a result, you should continue to offer support throughout these difficult times. As with most worries: money worries can appear, disappear, and reappear. For many, they are a constant worry, so your organisation must provide continuous support.

This support could involve distributing monthly financial advice through internal communications (e-mails and newsletters) or weekly catchups with managers. As an employer, you have a duty of care to support the health and wellbeing of your workforce. So, as these tumultuous times continue, you must continually communicate with your employees, listening to their needs and assisting wherever possible.

 

Support your employees mental health

Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provides a 24/7 counsellor support line, allowing your people to talk through any difficulties they might be facing.

We can also provide structured counselling for those who need it to deal with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.





If you have any questions, call us on 0800 206 2532

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