5 barriers to financial wellbeing that every company can solve

August 2021

How well do you understand the type of financial worries that keep your employees awake at night as you and they adapt to the ‘new normal’?

HR teams know better than anyone that it’s important not to lose sight of how employees are feeling in the midst of COVID, furlough, job uncertainties, worries about loved ones and restrictions on contact with family and friends. The impact on wellbeing is worrying and, as yet, unquantifiable.

There is already a rise in the incidence of stress, anxiety and depression arising from the global pandemic and the economy has taken a battering. It’s not difficult to see why so many employees feel overwhelmed and anxious.

One of the biggest worries they have right now is their finances.

And when employees are worried about money, it unsurprisingly manifests itself in lower productivity, higher absenteeism and increased conflict at work. All things that no HR team wishes for their workforce!

Holding it all together

These are the aspects of their finances that employees worry about most:

1. Paying unexpected bills

2. Paying off loans and credit cards

3. Paying utility bills

4. Not being able to pay their rent or mortgage

5. Falling into unmanageable debt

Then there is the additional pressure of trying to hold everything together at work, and for their families, while potentially juggling multiple debts and the prospect of financial hardship.

Managing money well can be tough at the best of times, but now more than ever, workers need help here - and employers are in pole position to help.  By providing programmes and tools to educate and support them, they can be pivotal in leading their people to financial wellness.

There is much more information available now through charities, support agencies and online, so that HR can help employees to learn about managing their finances and how to avoid or mitigate debt. They can also help employees learn how to save for those rainy days so that they are better able to absorb financial shocks and enjoy life more.

Practical Interventions

This is not just about financial education, though. HR teams also have a genuine opportunity to help change the financial wellness of employees for the better through practical interventions. Interventions that give control to the employees and empower them to take charge of their financial present and future.

Many of these practical interventions can be rolled up into one technical payroll solution that can transform the way employees receive and manage their pay.

Through combining financial education with practical support, financial wellbeing can be improved dramatically. Practical support includes:

• The facility to have wages paid into more than one bank account to make it easier to ring fence money for bills, savings and day to day living.

• The option to create a bank account that’s linked to the pay system

• The facility to access weekly advances through the month to help cover job related expenses.

• The ability to create a personal budget and access helpful financial guidance.

• The option to choose how, when and where to receive payment of bonuses, expenses and rewards

• The facility to pay landlords, loans and credit cards direct from wages – eliminating risk of overspending before payment.

A different way of working

The smart technology used by the PayCaptain payroll system provides all this and more. Its mission is to put people in control of their money by empowering them to manage it in the best possible way. They use innovative methods to help improve the financial wellbeing of employees and to reduce the financial stress they experience.

Additional PayCaptain payroll facilities include:

• Automated weekly advances sent by PayCaptain from accrued pay to employees eliminates wage advance requests, payments, queries and reconciliations

• Employers can boost employees’ savings by matching their savings payments (similar to pension matching) or paying interest on savings balances.

• Instant Payments (Faster Payments) of money to employees at any time 7 days a week, 365 days a year, freeing employers of the 3 days BACS deadline

• The use of the in-app PayCaptain Chat Bot and PayCaptain helpline (personalised to the employer) to help employees with pay-related queries, enables payroll functions to focus more on strategic tasks.

• The facility for employees to make donation direct from gross wages to UK Charities and with the option for employers to match donations.

This kind of help materially improves the relationship between employees and the HR and payroll teams – it’s no longer simply transactional but transformational, as employees begin to see the impact on their financial wellness of the tools their employers have provided.

And crucially, subjects such as debt and money worries become de-stigmatised. This too is an important step towards financial wellness.

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