The Alchemist People and Culture team resonated with the 40 minute mentor episode on financial wellness and inclusion and have shared their thoughts on this very challenging, but often unspoken topic.
The concepts of physical and mental wellness have now become common place and something that employers are investing heavily in to support their workforce. Listening to the latest 40-minute mentor podcast on financial inclusion with Sho Sugihara prompted us to reflect the concepts of financial health or financial wellness and how these can be incorporated into employee wellness initiatives as well as DE&I programs.
The covid pandemic, along with other geopolitical events have led to a sense of uncertainty about the future. Much has been said about how covid 19 has changed the way people work, from primarily office based to new hybrid arrangements, but for many it was the first experience of sudden financial shock – such as having salaries reduced or income streams suddenly stopped and not being able to pay bills and meet the basic costs of living. This has had a profound impact on the traditional employment relationship. Employees now expect more from their employers, and employers have had to adapt and respond, and many are now seeking to support employees with financial wellness tools and programs – consider that may employers are making cost of living support payments – as they seek to find ways to proactively support employee’s overall wellbeing.
Even before the soaring cost of living started to make headlines 1 in 4 employees said money worries often affected their ability to do their job (CIPD, 2022) The implications of poor financial health are all-encompassing; the stress of poor financial health can affect our physical and mental health in profound ways and therefore should be included in any initiatives to support employee wellbeing. Even employers with a limited budget can do their bit with a simple policy that lets their workforce know where and how to seek help. We need to all work to start to normalise conversations about money worries at work – we know being open minded, showing concern and empathy can break down stigmas and encourage employees to think about and plan for longer term financial health.
Thanks again to our People and Culture team for sharing their thoughts. It certainly provides food for thought that Employers who step up at this time of great economic upheaval to create workplace policies around talking about money worries can help break down stigmas and encourage employees to think about and plan for their financial health. By being open minded, showing concern and empathy, employers can create an environment where employees feel comfortable talking about their money worries. While this may seem like yet another thing employers have to add to the wellbeing concerns for their workforce, helping employees feel more financially healthy and secure, has been shown to help reduce absence from work due to financial stress. So, implementing such policies can have a positive impact on both your employees and the wider organisation.