Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and the cost of living crisis, financial struggles have skyrocketed. Instead of looking at short-term fixes, we must look at the long-term, aiming towards financial stability and sustainable solutions.
But how can businesses assist employees in becoming more financially stable? Let’s look.
1. Encourage open conversations about money
Around 42% of British people feel uncomfortable discussing money-related matters, even with their peers. This is despite 73% Brits purportedly being stressed about their finances.
However, a problem shared is a problem halved, so they say – and so it can be fruitful to try and reduce the stigma around discussing financial fears, promoting the efficacy of open and honest conversations.
2. Provide free informative resources
In order to become more financially stable, people need to be informed on what financial stability looks like, where they might be going wrong, and the steps they need to take in order to meet their financial goals.
Providing free financial information removes any barriers people might have to accessing such resources, and thus levels the playing field.
3. Offer financial protection insurances
Anxieties surrounding finances can stem from a multitude of environmental, circumstantial, and hypothetical scenarios. For example, people might be worried about what would happen if they were to pass away suddenly or become critically ill.
If employees are stressed their loved ones would not be financially stable without their salary – or, indeed, they would not be able to survive solely on their partners’ salary in the event of long-term sickness – there are a few insurances businesses might offer.
Critical illness cover, income protection insurance and employee life insurance are just a few ways that businesses can help employees become more financially stable in the long term.
4. Employee discount schemes
Due to the cost of living crisis running rampant throughout the UK, 89% of the public (around 46 million people) have reported continuous increases in their living expenses between July and August 2022, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Thus, offering employee discounts for products or services offered in-house can go a long way towards making things more affordable. Another idea might be to work with a network of local businesses, offering each others’ employees discounts as part of your partnership.
5. Contribute towards pension
It is a legal requirement in the UK for businesses to contribute towards employees’ pensions. However, there is nothing saying you cannot contribute more than the legal minimum.
Further, lower paid workers might not be eligible for pension contributions. In both of these cases, an employer can decide to contribute more towards a pension scheme than what is required by law.
6. Consider salary exchange programmes
Instead of employees paying out of pocket for their car, childcare, work equipment, car parking, and so on, you might consider offering a salary sacrifice system, where wages are automatically deducted in exchange for such non-cash, tax-free benefits.
7. Host financial wellness workshops
And finally, host regular seminars and workshops concerning financial wellness. These sessions might also offer the opportunity for employees to voice their concerns, ask for advice, and potentially assuage any anxieties they are experiencing.
Especially in such uncertain times, community and support is invaluable. By supporting employees, we can help one another to better weather the storm, together.
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