BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM – 18 January 2024New research from Zellis reveals how organisations can improve employees’ wellbeing, engagement, and productivity by harnessing payroll, education, and technology to promote financial empowerment.

The research draws on a survey of 2,500 people in UK and Ireland, working across different sectors, coupled with expert insights from industry thought leaders, to show how employers can most effectively help their teams.

77% say they have experienced financial stress over the past 12 months, and are increasingly looking to their employer for help: 94% believe employers should provide financial wellbeing support.

The report details 11 practical measures employers can provide, including discount schemes, signposting help to find benefits, and flexible pay to improve cash flow.

Instead of one-off payments or pay rises, for example, many are seeking smarter solutions. 41% of employees want to be able to build savings directly from the point of payroll — the most asked-for feature. Flexible pay, or earned wage access, allows employees to draw part of their earnings throughout the month, without having to wait until payday.

The role of better communication and education is also evident, with a need for line managers to be trained and equipped to provide financial wellbeing support.

The new 36-page report (available here) also includes detailed advice from three knowledgeable industry commentators: Charles Cotton, Senior Performance and Reward Adviser, CIPD; Heidi Allan, Principal, Head of Financial Wellbeing, LCP; and David Roberts, Principal Product Manager — Fintech, Zellis.

It builds on our previous report, which sets out the scale of the financial wellbeing problem and its direct impact on engagement, productivity, and performance.

“Much like workplace mental health offerings, an organisation’s approach to employee financial empowerment must be based on the individual’s requirements, offering multiple solutions as appropriate. An understanding of employees’ needs is therefore critical.”

Charles Cotton, Senior Performance and Reward Adviser, CIPD

“Financial education is so important in building knowledge. If people don’t understand what ‘death in service’ means or understand how critical illness cover works, and they feel uncomfortable asking their employers about gaps in their knowledge, then they just won’t engage with these things.”

Heidi Allan, Principal, Head of Financial Wellbeing, LCP
David Woodward, Zellis

“Employers need to create discreet channels for people to discuss their worries and get help. And at the same time, organisations must get better at raising awareness of the benefits that they offer, which are there to support people, both to stop them falling into difficulties and then, if required, to help them to get out of any difficulties they encounter.”

David Roberts, Principal Product Manager — Fintech, Zellis

Ready for a more engaged, more productive workforce?

For a comprehensive insights on employee preferences, and actionable steps employers can take now, download From Stress to Success: How Payroll Can Deliver Financial Empowerment.