On World Mental Health Day employers urged to consider the financial wellbeing of employees

To mark World Mental Health Day[i] on 10th October, an awareness day organised by the World Health Organization (WHO), Punter Southall Aspire highlights that focusing on the financial wellbeing of employees is a key part of any effective employee health and wellbeing strategy.

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention. According to the charity Mental Health UK[ii], one in six people who have had money problems have experienced suicidal thoughts as a result.

Another charity, Money and Mental Health,[iii] says that over 1.5 million people in England are experiencing both debt problems and mental health problems. Its research also found that 86% of people with mental health problems said their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse.

Johanna Nelson, Associate Director, Punter Southall Aspire said,

“Financial worries can have a huge impact on people’s mental wellbeing, and employers are in a unique position to help their employees combat financial issues through effective financial wellbeing strategies.”

For employers considering where to start, Johanna says,

“Too often financial wellbeing strategies start from ‘good sounding’ business ROIs – like improving presenteeism at work, increasing productivity, mitigating absenteeism, and maximising employee benefit utilisation. However, a people-led focus that seeks to be fair, inclusive, safe and supportive is a really good place to start when developing a financial wellbeing strategy.”

Here Johanna outlines how these themes can help drive a financial wellbeing strategy:

  1. A fair financial wellbeing strategy is impartial, open-minded and non-judgmental. It doesn’t make presumptions about how different types of employees’ financial affairs “should be”. It therefore starts from a position of listening to employees (in order to identify employee needs), and then evolves through continued listening and identification of new financial pain-points to resolve.  

 

  1. An inclusive financial wellbeing strategy is proactively accessible and relevant to all employees. It embeds targeted communications; knowing a ‘one size fits all’ approach will never result in improved financial wellbeing for all employees.

  1. A safe financial wellbeing strategy fundamentally believes in assisting all employees secure financial safety because it appreciates the severity of money issues. It sees financial wellbeing as a basic human right, remunerates fairly and puts the necessary education and support systems in place to assist all employees in securing their own financial safety.

  1. A supportive financial wellbeing strategy sees financial wellbeing as an everyday employee need. It doesn’t take a once and done approach but has an ‘open door’ policy throughout the year. It’s part of the culture and supported by leadership.

To find out how Punter Southall Aspire can help employers develop a financial wellbeing strategy visit: www.psaspire.com

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