When it comes to employee wellness it’s all too easy to get caught up in physical wellbeing initiatives. That’s understandable too. Whether you’re giving everyone flu jabs or having an office yoga session, it’s something you can see in action. One area where it’s more difficult to see immediate results, but which is increasingly vital to employee wellbeing is financial wellness.
You might think that you pay your employees well enough for that not to be an issue, but chances are they could do with a little more support than their salary offers.
Here’s why your company should provide that support:
Financial worries = major stress
Unless the country you live in happens to have a serious social safety net, financial worries tend to be a major source of stress across the board.
In the UAE, for instance, a MetLife survey found that more than a third of UAE employees were “more distracted at work because of financial worries.” Nearly half meanwhile agree that they “spend more time thinking about personal financial issues at work than they I should.”
Things are even worse in developing economies like South Africa, where research has shown that only 23% of people have money left at the end of the month and that more than half of half of consumers have to use 75% of their salary to make debt repayment.
With those kinds of stresses weighing on an employee’s mind, they’re never going to be able to give their job the attention it deserves.
Stress isn’t just distracting either. It’s been linked with the kind of bad habits that lead to chronic health problems.
Now which would you rather deal with? A small investment to help your employees have a better sense of financial wellbeing, or the cost of them having to take stress-induced time off later on?
You’ll reduce employee turnover
Imagine you’re in serious debt. You love the job you’re in now, but another company just offered you a higher salary. It might not be the easiest decision, but most of us would go with the job that allows us to get on top of our debts.
In that kind of situation, the employee ends up leaving a job they love and the company loses someone valuable.
Thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In the MetLife survey we mentioned earlier, most employees who said they were considering leaving their jobs said they’d stay if they were offered a benefits package.
Those increased benefits don’t have to cost a company big-time either. Simply bringing in someone to provide guidance on budgeting could mean the difference between an employee staying and leaving.
It shows you care
If you’re looking for solid business reasons to invest in employee wellness, there are plenty of them.
Trouble is, focusing exclusively on the business benefits misses the point. The whole point of any wellness programme, financial or otherwise, is to show your employees that you care about them. Sure there are business benefits, but if you focus solely on those, your wellness initiatives aren’t going to amount to much. Your employees aren’t dumb, they’ll figure out your motivations pretty quickly.
When it comes to financial wellness, you’re showing that you don’t just care about what an employee can do for you now. You’re showing that their future also matters to you and that the effort they’ve put in means you’ll be able to do something for them in the face of the unexpected.
Perhaps most importantly, however, you’re showing that you understand how complex personal financial wellbeing can be.
Just remember, the total package matters more than its component parts.