In the current climate we are now more likely to be borrowers than savers. We spend more, borrow more and save less. This macro trend is not just affecting the young or low paid. It is now stretching across the whole population.
Average saving rates are now at their lowest since records began 47 years ago. The Office for National Statistics reports that, those in 1971 were able to save 5.2% of their wage, whereas in 2017 this dropped to 4.9%.1
Whilst low savings may not immediately contribute to financial stress, savings rates are in effect the average gap between income and monthly expenditure. Lower saving rates mean people are more susceptible to any form of financial change in their lifestyle. Whether that is an issue with their car or a broken boiler, with fewer funds this will easily affect the level of stress on a day-to-day basis.
Perhaps, an even more sobering fact is that around 7 million people across Britain aren’t able to sleep at night because they are so worried about their money. With the UK population, over 20 years of age, sitting at 51 million this almost equates to 1 in 7 losing sleep over their finances.2
Lack of sleep impacts directly on people’s ability to function. It negatively impacts our brains ability to concentrate, make decisions, solve problems and remember information. These factors are just a few that would significantly alter an employee’s performance in the workplace.
It goes without saying that an increased level of stress means a sharp decrease in productivity. Many businesses already have mental and physical wellbeing programme in place, but if a large section of our population is suffering from stress due to money worries will those programmes be enough?
Making a change
Changing people’s financial habits take time, education and a carefully thought out plan. Delivering clear education and accessible solutions are paramount for good outcomes, for both you and your employees.
Where possible, use your employee benefits programme to provide a solution specific to a financial stress point. With a trusted solution, it will make it more likely your people will act to improve their financial wellbeing.
In supporting your employees with their financial wellbeing you can raise staff morale, increase productivity, build on your supportive company brand and improve retention levels.
Your guide to employee financial wellbeing
Download our guide to ‘Helping your employees make better financial decisions’ to look further in to the benefits of employee financial wellbeing, for your business and your people.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to:
- The key financial stress points in peoples lives
- The importance of investing in your employees
- A framework to build your own business case
- 3 pillars of an effective financial wellbeing strategy
- Office for National Statistics (ONS) (www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43583670)