While the strategies mentioned below are UK-based, the importance of implementing a financial wellbeing strategy in your organisation should be of interest wherever you are based.

The importance of financial wellbeing in the workplace

At the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) we are working with employers to deliver the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, providing them with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to support their employees through free, impartial, UK Government-backed money and pensions guidance. We believe when people have higher financial wellbeing, they will be financially resilient, confident and empowered.

Implementing a financial wellbeing strategy is probably not your business’ number one priority, at present, but as we look to recover from the pandemic, financial wellbeing will be as important as physical and mental wellbeing. Here are three simple, free steps your business can take to improve the financial wellbeing of your workforce.
  1. Syndicate tools and resources from MoneyHelper onto your internal channels and promote its content to personnel (MaPS will provide a feed for your business).
  2. Encourage workers to access MoneyHelper pensions guidance.
  3. Speak to your MaPS partnership manager to find out, what additional free support your business could avail of.

What is in it for my business?

  • Financial wellbeing does not have to be a standalone policy – it can blend and shape into all your business policies. MoneyHelper articles can be utilised by HR and finance colleagues to help communicate relevant money and pensions work information to personnel.
  • Health and wellbeing and mental health first aiders can seamlessly add financial wellbeing into their holistic health and wellbeing programmes because sometimes there is a strong relationship between financial wellbeing and mental health wellbeing.
  • Prior to the pandemic, MaPS found that 43% of working-age people in Northern Ireland didn’t feel confident about managing their money. Having easy access to free money and pensions guidance will provide workers with the skills and confidence to manage their money, in a way that is more meaningful for them.

Money is an emotive subject to engage in

Financial wellbeing is not about how well you remunerate your workers. Research from two studies found that “financial capability support was effective across the pay spectrum” (the RBS Young Workers Study) and two employee groups to have the most money worries were those earning between £10k-£14k and those earning more than £100,000 (Salary Finance’s ‘Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing in 2018-19).

Money is emotional. It’s the roof over our heads, the food on our table and the clothes that we wear. MoneyHelper is uniquely placed to empower and inform you of your choices and improve your financial wellbeing across your lifetime. It will also link people to other free support services, should that be right for them.

What is financial wellbeing?

  • MaPS defines financial wellbeing as feeling secure and in control. It is about making the most of your money day-to-day, dealing with the unexpected, and being on track for a healthy financial future. In short: financially resilient, confident and empowered.
  • It’s about a journey of practical money and pension guidance to help you top up your knowledge and understanding on a given topic or support someone, as a novice, to build confidence in understanding a subject.
  • It’s about having the confidence, habits and behaviours to make the most of your money on a day-to-day basis, plan and save for the things you want or need.
  • It’s about having the confidence to use financial services in a way that maximise their benefits and to shop around to meet your money needs. 

It’s knowing what to do when things go wrong and being able to use advice and guidance services to help find a way forward, when you need it. And lastly, it’s about having access to a partnership manager that can support your business needs and, when the time is right, naturally move your business to the next financial wellbeing phase, with free support.

If you are interested in learning more about implementing a financial wellbeing strategy, please contact me: Margaret.McCloskey@maps.org.uk

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