5 ways for employers to boost financial wellbeing amid Covid-19 Pandemic
11th May 2020
With the Coronavirus pandemic putting more than a third of the world’s population under lockdown, employers have had to face several tough decisions and many sleepless nights over their teams’ wellbeing. Here are five ways for employers to boost financial wellbeing during these challenging times.
Encourage your employees to go digital.
What does Fintech have to do with the wellbeing of your employees? Thanks to digital finance and technology, your employees have access to a broad range of solutions and products that are tailored to their needs and much more accessible, especially in times of a crisis. Fintech apps may seem obvious to employers but, for many people, even the most mainstream Fintech products are yet to be discovered. That’s rapidly changing, however, and now is your chance to make sure that your employees are up to speed with the latest solutions.
Going digital gives your employees easier access to their financial planning, creating higher awareness along with a motivation to save and use better financial products. So get your HR & Finance Teams to produce an infographic with the best Fintech apps & solutions out there, outlining the benefits, solutions, opportunities and, of course, risks involved.
On top of that, supported by the World Health Organization, contactless payments are now a much safer and more convenient alternative to cash, which might be contaminated. Not only that, but quarantine measures, along with the fear of getting infected, are going to keep customers away from bank branches. As a trusted employer you are able to reassure employees of the benefits of digital banking and encourage them to stay safe and help the spread of the virus.
Where to start: Want to recommend some digital finance solutions to your employees but are too busy to do the research from scratch? Check out some recommendations from which.co.uk.
Make financial education engaging!
A lack of financial education was a real concern for many, even before the Pandemic. 77% of UK adults have never received any financial education at school, according to Talk Money Week. As most of your staff is now working from home, now is the time to organise an online event where you can invite a guest speaker or panel (for example, a personal finance expert, a fintech expert and an online fraud expert), with a chance for your employees to ask crucial questions in real time.
Or, if you feel you have that expertise in-house, use it to your staff’s benefit. Focus on government schemes, savings options, fair lending solutions and, of course, tackle the topic of online fraud, which is rife during the pandemic with so many people taking their shopping online. Encourage your team to build up healthy financial habits to keep up with the speed of change, not just for the pandemic, but for the long run.
Where to start: If you don’t have the resources to organise a financial education webinar or provide personal advice to your employees, there are many insightful YouTube videos featuring finance experts. Why not include your favourites in the next internal communications email. You can also find official government advice on financial education here.
Make financial wellbeing a part of your ‘Employee Benefit Strategy’.
Conversations about money are not easy, but not having them can lead to unnecessary problems. If an employee on average spends 20 hours per month worrying about their personal finances, you can imagine how much pressure the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on their relationships at home and at work. Many are juggling childcare with Zoom meetings, cancelling holidays or weddings and live in fear of not being able to support their families through these short term difficulties. So supporting your employees’ wellbeing during this time is essential to keep them and your company in good spirits.
The vast majority of people in this situation need access to credit, now more than ever. However, those that need it the most usually are forced to take high-interest alternatives because they don’t have access to fair credit, leaving them financially worse off and even more stressed. Luckily, there is a solution and as an employer, you can be of real help here.
Did you know that the average British employee can save more than £1500 on debt repayments by leveraging their salaries and accessing better credit conditions? The SalaryFits platform enables loan instalments to be deducted directly from employee’s salaries, giving lenders more security and employees more choice. It is an innovative solution that makes sustainable financial products a reality for everyone.
Where to start: Get in touch with our team at SalaryFits and we’ll talk you through the options to make financial wellbeing accessible for your employees in a few easy steps: firstname.lastname@example.org
Build an internal financial wellbeing Wiki page.
Now that you have kicked off your financial wellbeing schemes and encouraged your team to go digital, build an internal digital home, or portal, for all your latest developments. Here, you can keep recordings of video messages, add any new pieces of data that the Government has just sent out, promote new Fintech solutions, and have a section highlighting all employee benefits.
Make it fun and engaging; why not launch a virtual weekly financial wellbeing “book club”, where you encourage your team to read books such as “How To Own The World” by Andrew Craig, and ask them to share their thoughts. Bear in mind that all your employees will be different; some will be graduates, others middle-aged parents with a growing list of financial dependents, and others close to retirement-age. Ensure there is content tailored to the various demographics and financial situations, whether that is younger people budgeting, or older workers planning for an ageing parent’s care.
Where to start: There are many ways to build an internal Wiki, and most companies are already paying or using a product suite that provides a tool for this exact purpose. Sharepoint for companies with Microsoft products, Google Sites which is integrated with G Suite, or Confluence for those using Atlassian, are all great examples. There are also a number of lesser known options available such as MediaWiki (which actually powers the internet juggernaut Wikipedia) or TikiWiki.
Make time to give back as a team.
Coronavirus doesn’t care about international borders or socio-economic realities and different countries are being affected in different ways. Millions of people around the world don’t have access to basic healthcare. A country like Zambia has one doctor for 10,000 people. In Mali there are three ventilators per million people. In some refugee camps one refugee shares a doctor with 25,000 people (World Economic Forum). And even here in the UK, hundreds of thousands of people need assistance from NHS volunteers to access food and medication.
Promoting financial wellness goes hand in hand with mental wellbeing, and right now most people will get a boost from feeling they’re doing what they can to help others during the pandemic. So why not organise a fundraiser and donate money to a cause of your choice, local or international. Or allow your staff to have some free time to volunteer with the NHS. This will help boost morale, engagement, and productivity at work.
Where to start: Promote the NHS volunteering scheme or, if you feel like fundraising to help those directly trying to solve the COVID-19 pandemic, here is the link to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.