As HR departments move on from addressing the immediate effects of the coronavirus lockdown period, XpertHR says that supporting employees’ financial wellbeing can help maintain employee goodwill and engagement with the business.
XpertHR has therefore enhanced its Financial Wellbeing Good Practice Guide to include specific information on how organisations can support employees’ financial wellbeing in light of the impact of the pandemic on their personal finances.
The guide sets out the business case for taking action on financial wellbeing, as well as steps for employers to follow to help ensure their employees are in control of their money and feel confident in their financial decision-making.
Jo Stubbs, XpertHR’s Global head of product content strategy, says, “The coronavirus crisis is having a grave financial impact on many employees – with the effects likely to last well into the future. As organisations move on from addressing the immediate effects of the lockdown period, recognising the strain on employees’ finances and putting in appropriate steps to help can be a key way of boosting engagement and maintaining goodwill.
“Whether businesses are thinking about introducing a new financial wellbeing strategy to support their workforce, or changing the focus of an existing one to tackle the specific challenges thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic, our financial wellbeing guide provides the practical information employers need.”
Many employees’ current financial priority will be to survive as best they can. XpertHR says in the short term:
- employers can support staff with ideas for managing their finances differently and reducing expenditure, as well as checking that they make full use of any relevant employee benefits;
- key areas where employees may need support include housing costs, season ticket refunds and personal debt;
- employers should review communication methods as staff may not have access to work emails or systems, particularly if they are furloughed.
However, XpertHR says the financial effects of the pandemic are likely to be long term, and organisations can prepare to support employees’ future financial wellbeing with these longer-term considerations:
- Support employees approaching retirement. Some individuals may need to reconsider their retirement plans. Employers should make sure that employees are signposted to credible guidance and have access to financial advice wherever possible.
- Think about longer-term pension savings. Organisations should encourage employees to return to their regular pension contributions if they opted out of the scheme or reduced contribution rates during the crisis.
- Help employees rebuild their finances. Loan consolidation services, earnings on-demand and personal finance apps are just some of the employee benefits that can help individuals gradually recover financially.
- Support financial education. Employees may find that their financial situation has changed significantly, and that they would benefit from financial education and guidance to readjust to new priorities. This could also be a good opportunity to encourage employees to address tasks such as making sure they have a financial safety-net of future savings and are generally in control of their finances.
To read XpertHR’s Financial Wellbeing Good Practice Guide in full click here.