• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Six reasons to invest in employees’ financial wellbeing

Six reasons to invest in employees’ financial wellbeing

Recently, I read a joke about how employees easily feign ignorance to excuse themselves from Math at workplaces, as they claim it’s not their strong suit. However, when a mistake is made with their salary, they notice it almost immediately.

Even though employees may not be bothered about their company’s finances, most are overwhelmed by personal financial worries. While some may have a solid financial footing, many Nigerian workers need to be more knowledgeable about ensuring they are financially stable without dipping their hands in the wrong pies. Unfortunately, these worries affect not only their productivity level in terms of focus and performance; they threaten the financials of the organisations where these employees work in myriad ways.

Q: “Financial education is no doubt a step in the right direction. However, there is a need to invest in their wellbeing through other financial wellness programmes, dependent on the outcomes of a need assessment exercise.”

Employees undergoing financial stress are twice as likely to experience overall poor health. They are four times more likely to suffer from depression, headaches, heart palpitations, panic attacks, sleep deprivation, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety. As if those are not bad enough to be concerned about, a study further revealed that employees with financial problems are five times more likely to be distracted. In perspective, the economic burden due to the loss of man-hours alone was estimated to be over a million naira per staff member in a year. This amount excludes financial loss due to pilfering, financial errors, administrative blunders, or poor sales due to product defects, poor customer service, damaged machinery or work tools, and work accidents.

This shows that employees’ financial well-being is a necessity and not a luxury, as it has become a social determinant of health. Coincidentally, financial well-being is also one of the eight pillars of wellness, just like intellectual well-being, which we dealt extensively with last month with topics on cognitive health, starting with why, and critical thinking. Being financially healthy depends on one’s ability to meet present and future needs, including emergency demands, and make enjoyable life choices.

As an employer, entrepreneur, or organisation, you cannot effectively boost your people’s financial health through financial literacy alone. Financial education is no doubt a step in the right direction. However, there is a need to invest in their well-being through other financial wellness programmes, dependent on the outcomes of a need assessment exercise. A far-reaching financial wellness programme impacts businesses in the following areas:

Boost morale:

Reducing employees’ financial burdens triggers a sense of value. Employees start seeing themselves as valued and supported by the organisation, which automatically generates happiness, trust, and endearment. It also gives a sense of belonging, making the workplace lively and happy. Everyone looks forward to coming to work.

Lower absenteeism/presenteeism:

A targeted financial wellness programme rids workers of money worries that can lead to illnesses or diseases that can prevent them from coming to work or doing their jobs effectively. A healthy workforce makes for a wholesome company.

Higher productivity:

A less distracted employee will clock in more productive work hours with fewer accidents, mishaps, damages, or poor attitudes towards work or customers.

Talent attraction and retention:

Being known as an organisation that supports workers’ financial well-being attracts and retains talent. It also boosts the company’s profile, thereby making it even more attractive to investors and prospecting stakeholders.

Appreciation of benefits:

Although some employers have excellent retirement plans and employee benefits, poor communication or a lack of training deprives their workers of the opportunity to enjoy them, let alone appreciate the company’s effort. When employees use and enjoy their benefits, they not only appreciate their employers but also become more dedicated to their work.

Timely retirement:

Employees who are financially knowledgeable and confident invest wisely outside of their retirement benefits. They plan well ahead for what to fall back on in retirement and, as such, take a bow when the time is right for them to leave paid employment.

In addition to the expected retirement plan contributions and health insurance, employers can make other targeted, need-based investments to improve their workers’ financial well-being. These benefits boost the organisation’s profile and endear your employees to you, as they serve as a competitive advantage without breaking the bank.

Call To Action:

If you want to know more, email me at [email protected] with your inquiries, feedback, in-depth analysis, or corporate engagement.

Olayinka Opaleye is a Wellbeing Specialist and Corporate Wellness Strategist based in Lagos. She can be reached on 09091131150 or www.linkedin.com/in/olayinkaopaleye.