April 9, 2019
Employers need to understand more about the impact of personal financial worries on workplace mental health, but are struggling to agree best practice standards to address the issue, new research from MetLife UK claims. More than six out of 10 (61 percent) senior HR executives have seen a rise in financial wellbeing issues affecting employee mental health and work performance, the nationwide study from MetLife UK suggests.
Senior managers think that addressing financial wellbeing will have business benefits – nearly two out of three (64 percent) say that tackling financial stress will help boost productivity and engagement in their organisation and 58 percent say there is growing momentum to provide support.
But businesses are concerned they do not understand enough about financial wellbeing – 67 percent say they need to know more about the link between financial wellbeing and mental health issues, while 66 percent say there needs to be more clarity on best practice on tackling financial wellbeing at work.
MetLife UK defines financial wellbeing by a combination of key factors: being in control of your finances; having the capacity to withstand financial shocks; having confidence in the future; and having choices on how to spend and save.
“Financial wellbeing in the workplace is a growing issue for businesses, with organisations reporting a rise in concerns about the impact on mental health and company performance”.
Employee benefits such as Group Life and Group Income Protection support financial wellbeing by helping families and supporting staff who are unable to work due to illness. In addition they offer support to family members via an Employee Assistance Plan, if their loved ones are struggling. Wider finanical wellbeing programmes also increase general financial literacy and improve financial behaviour.
Adrian Matthews, Employee Benefits Director, MetLife UK said: “Companies appreciate they need to understand more about the issue so they can provide support for employees, but at the same time there is concern that there are no agreed best practice standards on how to implement financial wellbeing programmes”.
“There is no magic solution to improving financial wellbeing in the workplace, but a well-designed employee benefits programme is a good place to start. The potential business benefits in terms of more productive employees are clear.”
MetLife’s research found 61 percent of HR managers believe financial wellbeing advice should be a part of Employee Assistance Programmes, aimed at helping address mental health issues.