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Sage: How good financial wellbeing can protect productivity

Benefits | Wellness | Sage Employee Benefits | 5-minute read

Posted on: Wednesday November 23, 2022

by Viki Bell

It may have taken a pandemic to make employee wellbeing more than a buzzword. However, it’s now accepted that the wellbeing of colleagues is integral to successful performance. Financial wellbeing in particular has accelerated up the corporate agenda as a result of the cost of living crisis over the past few months. As financial worries can keep employees from performing at their best, responsible employers would be wise to help their employees make sensible financial choices and adopt healthy financial habits. 

Ways to help your staff 

Consider wage streaming / flexible pay 

This gives employees access to a portion of their wages as soon as they have worked the hours, rather than waiting until the end of the monthly pay cycle. The idea is to alleviate cash flow problems along with the resulting financial stress and the potential for going into debt. For example, for many people having to meet an unexpected expense mid-month could mean resorting to a payday lender with sky-high interest rates. 

Accessing wages before payday gives employees a higher sense of control over their cash flow and budgets. As an employer, you can set a limit on how much of their pay packet staff can stream per month – usually, this is around 30%-40%. 

This benefit works well for employers with shift workers. Providers also offer fintech-enabled features like wage tracking (visibility of earnings in real-time) and gamified savings accounts to encourage financial resilience. Speak to your Account Manager to be sent a copy of our latest report "Helping your employees with the cost-of-living crisis."

Share knowledge and advice

Often information that seems obvious to organizations, is not so obvious to employees. Employees need appropriate information, education and advice to help them achieve good outcomes from their decisions to save, spend and borrow. This can be anything from how to decode a payslip to understanding how to save for retirement.  

When approaching the subject of money with staff it can be difficult to tread the line between giving advice and overstepping. Signposting staff either directly or through a trusted partner can be a prudent way to offer support. The Money and Pensions Service offers a wealth of free resources to help everyone to discuss and improve their financial wellbeing. By guiding your staff to places where they can also learn to help themselves, you’ll empower them to build autonomy and develop their financial aptitude. 

Offer support

Usually, this is delivered through an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), sucah as the Employee Support Line within your Sage Employee Benefits platform. This is a confidential service that enables employers to help staff with personal or workplace issues that might be impacting their performance, wellbeing, and mental or physical health. 

When it comes to financial wellbeing, an EAP is a useful resource. It provides employees with direct access to debt counselling, financial advice, and more. Many EAP providers have links to charities or government organisations and users can access calculators for credit card debt, pensions, and money health checks. They may also offer advice on housing issues like mortgages and tenancy agreements. What’s more, the phone line can be extremely valuable to employees whose money worries are affecting their mental health but don’t feel able to confide in a friend or family member.  

Look into discounts

Available from a wide range of major retailers, these enable employees to save money on everything from grocery shopping to luxury brands, dining out and days out. With discount codes downloading direct to employees’ phones, it’s a simple way for employers to help make everyday life more affordable. 

For more information or to access all our latest reports speak to your Account Manager on welcome@sageemployeebenefits.co.uk

 

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