Top tips to help your employees navigate the cost-of-living crisis

Top tips to help your employees navigate the cost-of-living crisis

15th December 2022, 12:22 pm

With UK inflation hitting record highs during 2023, businesses and their employees have been feeling the pinch.

Earlier this year, employee benefits platform WorkLife found that an overwhelming 96% of Northern small businesses were concerned about the impact of rising living costs on their employees’ personal finances. We want to do all we can to help.

We interviewed Paul Chedzey, Commercial Director for WorkLife by OpenMoney, on the best ways businesses can support employees during this challenging time.

1. Why should a business aid the financial wellbeing of their employees?

Talking money is a British taboo that we want to break. In our experience, employers are keen to support their employees, but often worry about crossing boundaries or starting discussions that could be construed as impolite or intrusive.

In actual fact, offering independent support to help with money worries – such as regulated financial advice – shows a big commitment to employees’ wellbeing, both at work and at home.

When we start a job, we are often asked to complete mandatory training: GDPR, handwashing, fire safety and so on. But what about our salary and how best to use it?

Employers are already intrinsically linked with peoples’ personal finances by providing their salary and pension, which means they’re also uniquely placed to help employees map out their long-term goals and enable them to feel more secure about their financial future.

2. Isn’t wellbeing about mental health?

A common misconception is that wellbeing is just about mental health support, but it is much more than this.

At WorkLife, we believe that a person’s wellbeing is multifaceted, based upon our financial, physical, mental, social, and environmental health combined: finance is at the core of all these things. For example, if employees are struggling to pay bills or are in debt, it can have a direct impact on their mental wellbeing.

If we consider this in business terms, employees with stress, anxiety and / or depression are more likely to be off sick or be less productive than their peers. In fact, research shows that 9.8% of all sick notes in 2021 were mental health related, up from 8% in 2017[1].

3. What do you mean by financial wellbeing?

Financial wellbeing is how someone feels about money and their ability to make decisions that will help enhance their financial outcomes. Positive financial wellbeing puts your employees in stronger stead to survive a financial crisis and can give them the financial freedom to enjoy life.

The extent of someone’s financial wellbeing is determined by how they feel about their financial situation, not just by how much they have in the bank.

4. What can you do to help your employees?

Speak to us!

Over the past few months, WorkLife has developed an online financial wellbeing platform for employees, where financial education, guidance, and coaching and advice can be accessed in one place.

Launching in the new year, the platform will be available for our existing customers to implement, and for their employees to use – which we are sure will be welcomed at this challenging time.

5. From this new platform, what does an employee get?

Our platform offers a variety of resources and personalised support, depending on the services required, including:

  • Educational material on all manner of topics, by qualified financial advisers and the Institute for Financial Wellbeing.
  • 121 support from financial coaches, with whom you will go through everything from day-to-day money management and saving, to budgets and planning for the immediate future.
  • Financial advice from qualified advisers, including discussions about investments, tax planning, and debt management.

6. What would you say to any employers worried about the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on their employees?

Above all else, we want employers to know they have the power to take care of their employees’ wellbeing and that it is never too late to seek help. It’s a difficult time for many of us, and at WorkLife by OpenMoney, we are here to help businesses and employees alike through this challenging period.

[1] Sickness absence in the UK labour market: 2021

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