Are you prone to worry about your finances? If so, you’re not alone; effectively managing your money is a tall order. From common everyday concerns to long range planning, personal finance covers a lot of territory. And just when you think things are under control, ready to coast, unexpected spending emergencies can throw you into a tailspin.
As important as it may be to keep tabs on your household finances, it’s also essential to preserve your peace of mind, so the process of managing money matters doesn’t interfere with other aspects of your life. The results of a recent survey indicate personal financial worries may affect UK workers, undermining productivity and preventing them from properly focusing in the workplace.
Finding Financial Wellbeing
According to recent research conducted by MetLife UK, nearly two-thirds of businesses report struggling with mental health issues in the workplace, caused by personal financial worries. The data indicates workplace wellbeing is a growing concern for employers, in part because worry about financial matters may impact performance and productivity.
The MetLife survey, polling two-hundred HR professionals, found more than 60 per cent of respondents confirmed a noticeable uptick in the prevalence of financial issues affecting workers’ wellbeing and impacting performance in the workplace. In a parallel result from the same study, nearly 65 per cent of senior managers felt addressing stress among employees would have a positive impact on productivity and engagement within their organisations.
The widespread presence of financial worry in work environments has led to a call for agreed-upon best practice standards, addressing the issue. Half of the senior staffers polled for the MetLife research indicated they’re aware of rising momentum in the UK, calling on employers to provide better support for workers struggling with money worries.
Annual CIPD Survey Supports MetLife UK Findings
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) annual survey mirrored results taken from the MetLife research, underscoring the severity of the recognisable problem. CIPD found that at least one quarter of HR professionals were in agreement, believing poor financial wellbeing is a noted source of stress for workers.
According to a CIPD spokesperson, employers are not making an adequate connection between financial wellbeing and overall mental wellbeing. When pressed about the issue, many employers expressed uncertainty as to how they should proceed, improving conditions for UK workers. It is thought one key to better outcomes may be making a business case for wellbeing programmes, so that decision makers understand how their organisations might benefit from the effort.
Millions of UK employees are too deep in debt, and a quarter admit financial stress impacts how they perform on the job. Many could survive no longer than three months, should they suddenly lose their source of income. The conditions are not hidden from UK pension and financial regulators; they seem to agree employers have a responsibility to the workforce, supporting employee health and welfare.
Access to short-term funding is not a primary concern for workers. Loans are available online, serving various needs, without extensive background checks. But programmes supporting staff are seen as a good start, improving employee wellbeing and boosting productivity. According to the CIPD report, supporting staff wellbeing is a relatively neglected area, in terms of formal organisational policies addressing the concern.
Nearly two-thirds of responding UK HR professionals indicted they didn’t feel as though their companies regularly polled employees to find out whether or not their rewards and benefits met workers’ financial needs. Further, the report showed employers that did go above and beyond, advising employees how to get the most from the benefits schemes actual did move the needle, making it more likely staff would make the right financial decisions.
From equitable pay structures, to retirement planning and straightforward financial communication, it’s clear UK employers can do more to support workers’ wellbeing. Research shows a positive relationship between supportive programmes and better outcomes for employees, so it is thought raising the standard will continue to move the needle for worried workers.