How to help employees who are struggling financially

November 2021

It goes without saying that financial stress can have a significant impact on our mental health...

Not only can this be damaging to our personal lives/relationships but it can also impact our work. 

That's why employees suffering financial stress will understandably exhibit lower levels of performance, have increased absenteeism, and often make more mistakes; all of which can cause major issues for a company.

You may think as an employer that such issues are out of your control. However, there are a number of things you can do to help with this situation.

Here are 4 things you can start implementing to improve the financial wellbeing of your employees (without just increasing their pay)...

Encourage employees to talk about their problems/concerns and support them when they do

Financial struggles are a reality for many people. With the cost of living going up and wages staying stagnant, it's not surprising that many employees are feeling financially pressured. Some companies have even started peer-to-peer giving programs to help their employees in times of need. This is a great way for managers and HR alike to show support, as well as give back to those who work hard every day.

It's important that employers do what they can to help employees struggling with money problems to feel supported by their managers, HR department, and general work environment. 

This doesn’t mean employees should be asking for loans or borrowing money. But it’s important to create an environment where they feel they can talk about their problems openly. Or at least having someone in the company or HR that they can speak to and discuss such issues. When done right, this will give you the ability to provide the relevant training/support to help your team thrive.

Educate managers on how to spot signs of workplace stress or financial stress

In order to spot the signs of workplace stress or financial stress, it is important for managers and HR professionals to be educated on what those indicators look like. These can include:

  • Rising absenteeism
  • Being quieter and more withdrawn than usual
  • Making more mistakes than usual
  • Irritability and anger outbursts
  • Constant conflict with colleagues

We all feel stressed sometimes, but if you see these signs happening more than usual or in greater intensity, there could be a bigger problem going on. Educating your team about what these symptoms may mean will help them identify when something is really wrong with their colleague or employee.

Companies like VinciWorks also offer training for employers on how to spot signs of mental health challenges in the workplace and how best to prevent them.

Offer employees tuition assistance or related benefits around financial education and mental health programs

This is a great way for managers and HR alike to show support, as well as give back to those who work hard every day. There are a number of ways to incorporate financial education and mental health support into your organisation and employee benefits scheme.

At PayCaptain for example, we designed our cloud-based payroll software to not only make running your Payroll a breeze. But to also help employers better support their employees with financial wellbeing.

That's why we partnered with The Money Advice Service and incorporated financial wellbeing features into our innovative payroll app. Meaning employees always have access to trusted financial guidance. The PayCaptain Team is also available to support employees directly with best practice information and recommendations for money management advice.

We also developed a survey to evaluate how employees feel about their finances. The survey creates a score and recommends guidance that can help improve financial wellbeing. This information is confidential but companies can view anonymised average scores to track financial wellness improvements over time.

There are also a number of other fantastic companies out there like Bipptit who offer employees their own financial coach which can be offered as part of an employee benefits package.

Give employees more flexibility around when they get paid and how they manage their money

As a manager, one way to give your employees more flexibility around when they get paid is by opting for a payroll system that offers on-demand pay.

This gives employees greater control over their finances and the ability to withdraw emergency funds in case of unexpected bills. HR will also be able to see what payments have been made each pay period, allowing them to provide support where necessary.

However, on-demand pay can also have negatives when not used responsibly. Check out our recent article on the advantages and disadvantages of on-demand pay for more information and guidance on this topic and the solution we've implemented at PayCaptain.

The key is in the implementation

Hopefully, this has given you a good idea of what you can do to start better supporting employees who are financially struggling.

However, the key lies in the implementation and making these things part of your workplace culture.

If you're serious about the wellbeing of your employees. We'd love to show you how PayCaptain can not only save you time in your Payroll process. But also support your employees' mental and financial wellbeing. You can book a free demo of the system here.


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