Companies feel they are doing enough for their employees’ financial wellbeing, but their employees disagree. That’s one of the key findings from research by Zellis partner Wagestream.

The report explores the barriers to building financial wellbeing among UK employees, with a focus on what employers should be doing in the workplace. Overall, employees are suffering when it comes to money, with 24% now worrying about money every day.

Unfortunately, this trend is likely to get worse as the cost of living crisis continues to bite. The knock-on effect is that employees’ mental wellbeing and performance are negatively impacted. Data shows that stress and anxiety are now the leading causes of workplace absences.

In fact, our own research recently explored the link between low numerical confidence, financial wellbeing, and mental health. When people struggle with money, neither individual nor organisation can thrive.

What do employees want the most?

Rebuilding resilience in the aftermath of the pandemic is on employees’ minds, with almost two thirds (61%) saying that building a rainy day fund or reducing debts are their biggest priorities.

Saving was identified as a particularly viable way for employees to improve financial wellbeing. Those that have accessed Help to Save schemes at work were 4% more likely to say they feel in control of their financial future.

They were also 8% more likely to say their employer cares about their financial health.

How talking can fight financial stigma and be a force for good

The report delves into the stigma and hesitation to talk about money at work. Despite employees suffering increased stress due to money worries, they are still unlikely to tell their employer. Sometimes that is out of fear of discrimination, but mostly due to internal feelings of shame and embarrassment. Tackling this stigma at work is one of the most important things organisations must do to open up the conversation and improve financial wellbeing in the workplace.

The importance of signposting — and getting the conversation moving

One thing employers can do is signpost employees to confidential forms of support that they may feel more comfortable talking to, at least in the early stages of their journey. Within the award-winning Wagestream platform, the ‘Coach’ feature gives people access to a certified financial coach in real time who can discuss finances confidentially and empower people to set achievable savings goals.

Coaching can be delivered at the time of need and links personalised, targeted insights with tangible tasks that change behaviour for the better. Wagestream also advocates appointing financial champions at your organisation and using current economic events, such as soaring energy prices and rising inflation, to spark conversation.

Download the full report on the Wagestream website.

Wagestream is one of several flexible options available via Zellis HCM Cloud to help you support your employees’ financial wellbeing. Another is Work ReportTM, in partnership with Experian and Background checking specialists Neotas. We continually develop technology that engages employees, is efficient in its delivery, and empowers your people to make great decisions.