Why employee financial wellbeing matters

Many employers already recognise the moral and business case for supporting employee financial wellbeing.  Money worries affect our mental and physical health, which in turn can affect work performance. To help address this, nearly half of employers have a financial wellbeing policy in place. 

Ideally, a financial wellbeing policy should form an integral part of every employer’s holistic wellbeing strategy. But even small employers with a limited budget can do their bit with a simple policy that acknowledges their commitment and lets their workforce know where they can seek help if they need it.

Get started with three steps

What matters to employees - financial well-being

Any employer can begin to build a financial wellbeing policy with these three simple steps:

  1. Let your workforce know that they can get free, confidential and independent money and debt advice from the government’s Money and Pensions Service

  2. Make sure your workforce is fully aware of all the benefits you currently offer and how to make the most of them.

  3. Begin a dialogue with employees and line managers about the financial challenges and opportunities faced by them and the business. This will show your concern and help to break down the stigma associated with money problems.

Once you’ve got these basics in place, you can then look to expand your financial wellbeing policy to include a commitment to paying a fair and liveable wage, supporting in-work progression, expanding your benefits package and offering financial education. Explore the resources on this page to find out why and how.

Why employee financial wellbeing is important

Our research report demonstrates a clear business case for supporting employee financial wellbeing. It's an integral part of creating a healthy workplace where people can flourish, reach their potential and make a significant contribution to their organisation’s performance, while evidence clearly links financial wellbeing to both employee wellbeing and performance (as we explore in our practice summary below). There’s also, of course, the moral argument: we should take action because it is the right thing to do.

Download the research report and practice summary: 

The Financial wellbeing guide, published by The National Forum for Health and Wellbeing, provides further facts and figures about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on financial wellbeing, and how this has added to the urgency for employers to take action.

Supporting your workforce’s financial wellbeing

We've worked with the Center for Evidence-Based Management (CEBMa) to explore the factors affecting employee financial wellbeing, looking at the relationship between financial wellbeing and workplace performance, and why financial health should be part of every wellbeing strategy. The result is a set of evidence-based insights and practical recommendations, underpinned by rigorous scientific analysis, outlining what employers can do to tackle financial distress – that is, poor financial wellbeing – in the workplace.  

Prior to this, we produced practical guidance illustrating the key steps employers can take to help their employees make better financial decisions. Although the guide was written pre-COVID-19-pandemic, the advice remains just as relevant – if not more so. 

Behavioural science and your financial wellbeing strategy

Voluntary participation in financial wellbeing programmes can be hard to achieve – and individuals who are most in need of these programmes may also be most likely to avoid taking them up and completing them. Using behavioural science to get an insight into what makes your workforce tick, can help employers to:
  • encourage people to spend enough time looking at their financial wellbeing
  • increase take-up of and engagement in financial wellbeing programmes
  • uncover and challenge biases that impede financial capability and wellbeing.
As such, our report provides expert advice and recommendations on how to use behavioural insight approaches to influence employee behaviour. It’s aimed at organisations already planning or taking action to help support employee financial wellbeing and builds on our practical guidance and research.

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