• Cathy Brown
  • Asesh Sarkar
Executive Director, Engage for Success

How can stress caused by financial worries affect employees and employers?

Financial distress reduces productivity, staff engagement and undermines employees’ health, so organisations need a creative approach to improving financial wellbeing. If people feel rubbish at home they feel rubbish at work, and vice-versa. Employers have invested in physical wellbeing by getting their staff more active, and are paying more attention to mental health where there is a strong link with financial worries.

What role can technology play in helping to improve financial wellbeing?

Innovative companies leverage technology to find low-cost, high-impact ways to promote financial wellness at work, but don’t forget face to face advice to ensure everyone is engaged. Younger employees might use an app but someone nearing retirement may prefer to talk through their concerns. We are seeing companies getting more inventive and putting financial planning tools on their websites or setting up helplines.

How important is it that people receive education to improve their financial literacy?

If young people and employees are to be engaged good financial education is crucial. We must talk about credit cards and budgeting in schools and create a workplace culture where financial education takes place in a trusted environment. The message must be that financial wellbeing is not about how much you are paid but about being able to manage your money.

CEO, SalaryFinance

How can stress caused by financial worries affect employees and employers?

Employees with money worries are likely to be less engaged and less productive at work.  This is major problem in the workforce today, with almost half of UK employees having no savings, and personal debt doubling since 2013.  The impacts for employers are significant, from higher stress-related absence to increased attrition as result of competitors offering small increments in pay.

What role can technology play in helping to improve financial wellbeing?

Technology can help employees manage their money better and access better value products.  For example, budgeting apps, which link directly to bank accounts, can help employees gain control of their finances.  Low-interest employee loans, enabled by repayments collected as a salary deduction, help employees avoid high-cost credit cards and payday loans.

How important is it that people receive education to improve their financial literacy?

It is easy to get into financial difficulty, but very difficult to get out it. Education should start early to teach people about budgeting and managing their finances.  For example, education on how to build and maintain a credit score will help people achieve life goals like buying a house.  Education on saving is also key to reduce the number of people getting into financial distress.