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If you want an effective wellbeing strategy then don’t forget to #TalkMoney

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We have all seen it: a wellbeing in the workplace poster, or an email detailing how to sit at a desk, or encouraging us to eat an apple a day – but is this truly delivering wellbeing to your employees?

“Hey! Read this to help you be overworked and underpaid more mindfully”

An example of a tongue in cheek comment I heard recently, and this really hit home, because it demonstrates how a poor wellbeing strategy can be viewed by some employees.

The value versus the perceived value to employees can vary massively depending on delivery.  If an employee just feels like they are receiving spam on wellbeing areas not related to them, this is where a wellbeing strategy can fail.

It’s more than a bit of free fruit in the office.

Wellbeing strategies can often be product-led, in which case it is easy for employers to miss the mark. Whilst an employer may have the best intentions in the world, communication and the underlying structure of a wellbeing strategy are key in ensuring employees of all demographics get the message and understand what is on offer to improve their personal wellbeing. Ultimately it comes down to “What is wellbeing?” and in reality, wellbeing has a different meaning to each individual, so not everyone is going to be impacted by the same issues and concerns.

Understanding your workforce, having a broad range of relevant products and initiatives, and targeting your communications either to groups or even individuals can go a long way towards building a productive wellbeing strategy.

What’s the point?

Any wellbeing strategy which seeks to support employees across the range of personal pressure points has to include financial wellbeing.  This week is #TalkMoney week, and a great time to start new conversations and reflect on how your company can continually improve the wellbeing of all employees. In this is it crucial to remember that financial and mental wellbeing are extremely closely linked, and the two combined can create a vicious circle if one or both is not in a great state.

According to research by charity Money and Mental Health, the biggest concern for employees is financial stability.  46% of people with problem debt also have a mental health issue, and 86% of respondents to their survey – of nearly 5,500 people with experience of mental health problems – said that their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse. Put into further perspective, 17 million working age people in the UK have less than £100 in savings, leaving them only one unexpected bill away from the risk of expensive debt.

From an employer’s perspective, this can result in a number of challenges: hours lost to money worries, sick days due to financial stress or reduced overall quality of work. Salary Finance estimates that the effective cost of this reduced productivity due to poor financial wellbeing can be as much as 13-17% of total salary cost.

Employers are increasingly aware that aiding physical, mental and financial wellbeing puts their workforce in the best frame of mind to do what they’re paid to do. There is a business benefit and it is the right thing to do. Many people find it notoriously difficult to form positive financial behaviours, but #TalkMoney is a great opportunity to bring money into the heart of any wellbeing strategy.

 

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