Having help in place, alongside preventative measures, for employee financial wellbeing should be a top priority for companies. Why? Because financial issues are the biggest worry for employees in the UK over anything else, according to research by financial wellbeing experts Neyber.
For many employees, problems with finances can spread further, affecting their mental health. Poor mental health can often lead to even further financial issues.
While on the face of it, according to Neyber’s research employers should look to offer more financial wellbeing-based benefits, employers should also be aware of the knock-on effects and how they affect employees’ mental health.
How financial issues affect mental health
The issues caused by financial worries that are reported the most are increased levels of stress and lack of sleep. It’s also worth considering the various knock-on effects that can be caused by these.
These are the most common issues for managers to look out for and spotting these early can be crucial in helping employees when it comes to their financial wellbeing and mental health. The earlier these signs are spotted the better as they can quickly snowball.
How poor mental health can worsen financial issues
According to the research, the majority of employees say they spend more when experiencing issues with mental health. These issues can also cause people to put off dealing with debts and creditors. Many also say they’re more likely to borrow when dealing with poor mental health. This then becomes a viscous cycle.
Poor financial wellbeing can make mental health problems worse, and poorer mental health can contribute to a worsening financial situation. Managers and organisations need to be wary.
What can companies do to help?
- Let’s start simple. Provide training for managers and help them support employees
If an employee needs help at work, more often than not they’ll turn to their manager. Having a manager who can support them in both their work and their financial and mental wellbeing can have a number of benefits. Managers are also more likely to spot any potential issues early on than most others within the business. Having that support there for employees could be crucial.
How can we train managers to support employees? There are many dedicated mental health organisations that will come out to your workplace and provide training, ranging from mental health awareness to managing mental health at work. There are also online courses available.
- Provide an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
An EAP is a must for any company. More and more organisations are offering an EAP to their employees as awareness of mental health issues increases.
What is an EAP? Click here for more info.
What many people forget is that the EAP can actually be used to combat financial worries as well as a range of mental health problems.
For help with finances, you’ll need financial wellbeing benefits, but an EAP can help employees deal with the issues that arise from poor financial wellbeing specifically. These can range from issues with gambling to worries about debt.
- Make sure your employees feel comfortable talking about it
Employees should feel comfortable seeking help for their financial worries and mental health issues. The more comfortable they feel, the more likely they are to use your EAP, seek help from their manager or seek financial support.
To encourage this culture, try hosting workshops and educating employees on avoiding financial issues or what to do should they find themselves in financial trouble. Communicate that you offer an EAP, let employees know there’s support available. Make it part of the induction process for new employees.
- Use your employee benefits to offer financial support
Employers could do this by offering alternative ways to save or invest through salary sacrifice or by providing financial education through an employee benefits platform. Salary sacrifice provides a good alternative when it comes to managing your financial situation. The fact that its relatively low risk compared to simply taking out a loan from a high street lender is one of many reasons why salary sacrifice should be utilised by employers as a way to improve their financial situation.
So, in short, if you’re an employee and you’re experiencing financial difficulty or mental health issues, see if your employer can help you. Does your employer offer an EAP? Managerial support? Financial support through education or salary sacrifice? Seeking help for mental health and financial problems isn’t always easy but taking that first step by speaking to someone or seeking help is crucial. See if your employer can help you!
If you’re an employer, do you offer support to your employees? If so, do you communicate it effectively? Do your employees feel comfortable seeking help at work? If not, speak to us and we’ll provide solutions for you and your employees to ensure your employees are on top of their financial and mental wellbeing.
Looking for a comprehensive employee benefits platform? We’ve got you covered.