A report released this year on financial wellbeing and capability showed there are over two million Australian adults experiencing high levels of financial vulnerability. It also highlighted a significant proportion of Australians experience anxiety about not being able to meet an unexpected expense. 1
We can only imagine what those statistics would look like now.
In the workplace, the financial pressures felt from COVID-19 are even more intensified. A QSuper Survey conducted prior to the pandemic revealed an overwhelming 95% of respondents admitted to having at least one area of financial concern in their lives. And almost 47% of all workers spent over three hours a week worrying about their finances at work. 2
This puts an enormous strain not just on the individual but on the organisation as a whole. In fact it’s reported that poor financial wellbeing costs Australian businesses an estimated $33 billion per annum. 3
Again, this figure is only likely to increase given the challenging times we are facing.
The need to offer support for employees around their financial wellness has never been more important. And critical for an organisation and its people to function effectively and productively.
Research shows when this is managed well such as through wellness programs, employee engagement increases from 7% to 55%. Feeling in control of our finances and in turn our choices creates a sense of security and freedom – financial wellbeing – that has a dramatic impact on our attitudes and performance.
Financial wellbeing program
So what does a financial wellbeing program look like?
The first thing it has to be is engaging. Talking about finances and money worries is not the most comfortable thing to do. But it’s amazing how quickly you become more invested in your financial wellbeing when you understand simply what it means. And the positive impact it can have.
A typical session answers questions like: What is financial wellbeing and the drivers for achieving it? How do you set up your bank accounts for success? How do you balance fixed expenses and discretionary spending? (yes, you can still buy a coffee every day). Tips and ideas for what can you do this week that will save you money. What are the keys to success for being financially secure and having freedom of choice, now and in the future?
Doesn’t sound too hard does it? But so many people either never get asked these questions, or don’t know where to start.
For employers who want to go further, we can then run one-on-one sessions to tackle the individual needs of employees. Our financial advisers, Mariana, David or Stevie-Jade would be only too happy to take you through how this can happen.
Greater happiness and productivity
As an employer, the most important thing you can do is to do something. Your team will be relying on your guidance more than ever before. And your empathy. Providing meaningful support will be incredibly beneficial for your team and organisation. Less financial stress means happier and more productive employees. This can only add to the culture of your workplace resulting in improved morale and retention rates, less sick days, and greater work/life balance.
It’s hard to put a value on that.
If you would like to discuss how one of our financial wellbeing programs could work for your organisation, please get in touch with one of our expert advisers here.
- Russell, R., Kutin, J. & Marriner, T. (2020) Financial Capability Research in Australia. RMIT University.
- Survey of Queensland-based workers conducted in July & August 2019 by Ipsos, commissioned by QSuper.
- PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 2010