With money worries causing sick days, accidents at work and lower productivity, more and more employers are starting to offer financial education as a key employee benefit.
SoGlos spoke to Brunsdon Financial’s head of corporate services to find out why financial education could prove invaluable to employers – and how to choose the right provider.
About the expert – Seb Merritt, head of corporate services at Brunsdon Financial
Head of corporate services, Seb Merritt, has over 18 years of experience in employee benefits and corporate pensions. He specialises in the creation and implementation of bespoke employee benefits packages and pension solutions, tailored to individual business needs.
Gloucestershire-based Brunsdon Financial offers a diverse range of financial services, spanning individual wealth management and tax planning; employee benefits and group pension schemes for businesses; mortgage services; and financial education.
Financial education is one of the fastest growing employee benefits being offered by businesses. Why is that?
Research has shown that stress and anxiety caused by money worries is the biggest factor in employee absence and loss of productivity. Businesses have identified that providing financial education in the workplace can help an employee to manage their personal finances better to reduce money stress.
Employees’ existing money concerns were further intensified by Covid-19 bringing unexpected financial pressures due to periods of furlough or redundancy – so more employers have looked at financial education over the last year to support their employees’ wellbeing.
Less stress means happier, more engaged employees.
What does financial education involve?
Financial education can include webinars, seminars, lunch and learns, one-to-one coaching sessions and availability of money guidance through emails, podcasts, videos and blogs. The aim is to ensure that the employee has the tools and knowledge to improve their personal financial situation and know who to approach for further help if needed.
Most people would probably think learning how to manage money is the individual employee’s responsibility. Why is it important for employers to help?
If an employee is worried about their personal finances it can lead to lost productivity and accidents in the workplace. More sick days are taken due to stress and anxiety caused by money worries than any other reason. A Health Advocate Study found that between 60 and 80 per cent of all workplace accidents happen because an employee is stressed.
Getting behind your employees and supporting their financial wellbeing can go a long way to building trust and loyalty, boosting retention and commitment to performing their role well.
What impact does poor financial education have on employers?
Employees’ financial issues can have a negative impact on employers, with reduced productivity, higher sickness absence and turnover rates hitting the bottom line. Research by Neyber found that of the 20.3 million workers affected by money worries, 1.6 million take time off and nearly 3 million struggle to focus. In total, it estimates that poor financial wellbeing costs UK employers £15.2 billion a year.
How does providing financial education to employees help businesses?
Providing financial education to employees can improve their financial wellness to result in a happier, more engaged and productive workforce. It’s a win-win situation!
What should businesses consider when looking for a financial education provider?
Employers should ensure their provider is independent, has no product attached to the provision, and that the information is up to date and relevant.
Wider than just financial education, they should also make sure that their provider understands the underlying benefits structure which a company provides. The provider must look at the whole picture to ensure they are adding value to make the most of the company’s Employee Benefit investment.
Most importantly, the provider must offer open, honest and accurate information, to engage and empower your employees.
What other employee benefits can Brunsdon Financial provide?
Brunsdon Financial can support your business in all areas of employee benefits, including corporate pension governance, review, engagement and administration; financial and pension education; product review, consultancy, engagement and administration for core risk benefits such as group life insurance, private medical insurance, income protection, critical illness cover and health and dental cash plans; flexible and voluntary benefits consultancy; as well as benefits benchmarking, consultancy and implementation of salary sacrifice benefits.