The HR manager role in supporting employee financial well-being

October 9th 2020 | Posted by phil scott

The HR manager role in supporting employee financial well-being

The HR manager role in supporting employee financial well-being

According to the Money Advice Service, one in six people in the UK have financial worries. Not all of these people are employed but for those that are these worries can have a major impact on their working life.

Understanding this is important for HR managers as it’s vital that these individuals receive the support that they need. Having this support in place does not just benefit the employee, it’s also vital to employers as it helps them to reduce the costs that employee financial issues can bring.

The cost to employers of employee financial issues

According to the Alliance of Financial Inclusion, there are certain facts which help to highlight the importance of the HR role in driving support for employees who are experiencing financial difficulties.

  • People who have financial worries are more likely to have difficult relationships with colleagues.
  • Individuals who are struggling financially are more likely to produce low quality work.
  • Money worries often lead to individuals not meeting productivity goals.

It’s also worth mentioning that according to financial wellbeing provider Neyber, employers lose as much as 2.5 days per employee per year as a result of financial stress-related sickness absence.

Employees who are in work also often fail to focus properly if they are concerned about money. It’s clear that initiatives to deal with employees’ financial well being benefit the business as well as the employee.

Initiatives that can be driven by HR Managers

High performing HR managers are the driving force behind financial well-being initiatives. These initiatives include:

  • Encouraging “champions” to share their own stories and share advice on how they resolved difficult financial situations.
  • Engaging with employees through individual or group discussions, or by the use of confidential surveys.
  • Driving the use of data to identify potential problems. This could include looking for particular absence patterns that may suggest a lack of finances at a particular time each month.
  • Providing advice packages about finance-related concerns such as how to create an effective budget.

Of course, HR managers need to elicit support from senior managers in order to create and communicate effective strategies and plans to provide support for staff in dealing with their finances.

There are several different options which HR professionals can put forward including the provision of an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) which can signpost employees to various potential financial solutions.

In summary

Financial difficulties are a fact of life for many people. This is especially the case given the global difficulties that have arisen in 2020.

HR Managers play an important role in supporting employees to deal with these problems. They work with senior management to develop strategies and plans that provide the necessary employee support. This is not only beneficial to individuals who are experiencing problems.

Planning in this way is also beneficial to businesses as it can help to reduce sickness absence levels. It also helps to improve productivity as employees are individually more productive when stress levels are reduced.

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