8 June 2021
In 2020, Perkbox’s workplace stress survey highlighted that 79% of British adults in employment commonly experience stress. LCP’s financial wellbeing survey 2021 highlighted that more than one in four employees stated that financial pressure affects their behaviour in the workplace. And in 2018, Public Health England estimated that the cost of an unhealthy workforce to the UK taxpayer was more than £60 billion per year – and that was before the pandemic.
Many employers have strategies to support physical and mental wellbeing, but financial wellbeing less so. There are typically two reasons for this, either the employer is apprehensive because they don’t know where to begin or they see it as ‘not their problem’. When you consider that for a 10,000 employee firm, we estimate the cost implications of time lost due to financial pressure to be around £1.6m a year; not only is it the right thing for an employer to do, but it is in their interest to do so. There are huge benefits to financial wellbeing, both to the bottom line and to your people. You don’t even have to ’get involved', it could simply be providing access to information and signposting support.
The most successful wellbeing and benefit strategies have a clearly defined purpose and are outcomes driven. If the purpose of your benefits strategy is to help your employees, the value to your employees is building their knowledge, confidence and capability to manage their money; then the products used to achieve this are merely the tools to do so.
Even with the best intentions, many employers fall into the trap of focusing on the value of a benefit (cost of the product) rather than the value of the benefit (outcomes/value to employees). A well-rounded employee wellbeing and benefits strategy does not mean spending equally across each area of wellbeing, but rather the key is in understanding the particular needs of your workforce. Every individual employee will have a combination of different objectives and challenges throughout their lives. Employers are in a unique position to identify trends and understand their employees through data analysis and listening to the concerns of their employees.
The purpose of any wellbeing and benefit strategy is to ensure your employees feel valued, cared for and secure in their jobs. Sadly, our latest research shows that many employees do not feel this way with 55% of employees stating that they do not feel their employer cares about them. Understandably, this is a bitter pill to swallow for employers. Employers spend vast sums on their employee wellbeing and benefit strategies and in many cases already have all the pieces to the jigsaw puzzle. Often, however, they do not have the infrastructure and communication strategy to ensure their employees understand and value the tools they have to hand.
Understanding your workforce, providing a broad range of relevant support and targeting your communications will ensure you have well-rounded employee wellbeing and benefit strategy.
Five steps to creating a well-rounded strategy
- Know your people
Analyse the wide range of data available to understand your workforce to highlight the areas in which they most need support.
- Assess what you already have
Review the benefits you already have and identify any gaps in your offering to ensure employees are being supported with their physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
- Implement any required products and initiatives
Once you have highlighted where your employees need support, deploy the new strategy and set measurable objectives to ensure the new product or initiative results in the desired impact.
You may already have all the products you need; it could just be a case of reminding or re-educating your employees.
- Communicate and engage
Provide education to your employees to increase their knowledge and understanding of the challenges they may face, as well as the products and initiatives you have to support them.
Ensuring your workforce is engaged also provides the perfect opportunity to receive feedback from employees, be that on the new initiatives or to inform you of other areas they require support in.
- Review and repeat
Assess the feedback and analyse the data against your measurable objectives. Repeat the process to once again understand the ever-changing needs of your employees and ensure you are providing them with the support they need.
Understanding your workforce and the tools you can equip them with will ensure that you have a well-rounded employee wellbeing and benefits strategy that makes your employees feel valued, cared for and secure in their jobs and is also in your interests.