"Financial wellbeing is the least common area included in HR strategies, despite money worries affecting 47% of UK employees." CIPD, Nov '21
Our financial security, or lack of it, can negatively impact mental, emotional and physical health. Whilst most organisations offer some provisions via employee assistance programmes (EAPs), they are often underutilised and financial training is often under represented. The time is now to think about how organisations can best support their teams through the financial crisis. Read on for our thoughts about the impact the financial crisis may have on wellbeing and tips for supporting your teams.
As I read an email from my energy supplier advising me that my monthly payment needed to significantly increase – again, I become mindfully aware of the sinking feeling in my stomach. I felt old yet familiar feelings of panic beginning to rise and noticed how my thoughts were oscillating between catastrophe and pragmatism. I think it is fair to say that my ‘wellbeing’ was suffering in that moment! That experience led me to reflect on not just on how my wellbeing and how my family is going to be affected, but how society is likely to be impacted overall. I can say it wasn’t the most pleasant reflection I have ever had. However, following that quiet reflection, I felt compelled to talk to others, friends, colleagues and clients about their thoughts around the financial crisis so that I could understand their concerns and how we could best support wellbeing during this time. My children’s Headmaster summed it up perfectly in a recent communication about paying for upcoming school trips. He said, “We recognise that you do not need to be on the poverty line to be facing financial hardship…” There will be, without doubt, some people who will need to choose between food or putting their heating on this winter and for the majority of people, cutting back on spending will be essential. Financial stability and security is a key pillar of our wellbeing and the financial crisis will most definitely be having an impact on overall health.
There are many ways in which money worries can negatively impact our mental and physical
wellbeing. Potential problem areas we have been discussing and how organisations might be able
to help are:
1. We are social beings. Not having money to socialise can lead to feelings of isolation,
loneliness and sense of disconnection.
More social workplace events: virtual and in-house
Set up a buddy system to link people together
Communicate your sources of in-house support such as EAP, private healthcare, support groups and MHFA's etc.
2. Not having money to eat healthily
Provide subsidised healthy meals at lunchtime
Offer food vouchers
Send out resources for cooking healthily on a budget
3. Not having money to go to keep up with hobbies or exercise classes
Offer in-house and virtual exercise classes
Encourage people to start their own groups, perhaps providing a space to meet in-house or facilities to connect online.
4. Not having money for petrol or travel
Be mindful people maybe reluctant to come into the office because of travel costs
Make reasonable adjustments to working during crisis
5. Not having money for essential utilities
Make space for people to come back to office to save on their bills at home
Not having money for essentials
Provide essentials that people can take anonymously such as sanitary items or shaving products, for example
We are delighted to have our very own financial wellbeing expert, Jane Johnson, on board with us as part of our Associate team. Jane is an experienced Financial Adviser with over 23 years in the financial industry and a Diploma in Financial Planning.
In considering the challenging times we are all now facing, Jane shares her key tips below to help be prepared for turbulent times ahead:
1. TRACK YOUR SPENDING - Create a spreadsheet detailing ALL of your spending. This can help you
see how you are spending and where you can make changes.
2. SPEND FROM A DIFFERENT BANK ACCOUNT - One of the simplest budgeting techniques is to have
two bank accounts. One where you get paid into and pay your monthly bills from and a second that
you pay a set amount into each month for day-to-day spending. This will ensure you don’t
3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAX SAVINGS AND RELIEFS - Ensure you are making the most of tax-fee
allowances and reliefs to reduce your tax bill.
4. SAVE - One of the most important things you can have in place is an emergency fund. This can
help you weather difficult times or pay for any unplanned expenditure.
5. HAVE A FINANCIAL HEALTH CHECK - Sit down with a financial adviser to go through your goals and
objectives for now and for the future so you can agree a plan to work towards.
Below are some wonderful resources to share for anyone who might be facing financial hardship:
Money Saving Expert
Turn2U benefits calculator
We have a range of financial wellbeing webinars and workshops we can run, including: Ways to save, Managing Budgets and Financial Planning for the Future.
If you are interested to explore these workshops further for your teams, please get in touch to discover more.