The shorter days, the cold and the dark somehow manage to highlight the ongoing squeeze on employee finances as those long pay periods in the New Year are never relished.

Harry Kitchen, Partnership Executive

What Winter does highlight is the vice like grip the cost of living still has on us Brits, and it’s no wonder why we are all worrying about money.

Whilst some are trying to tackle the gap in pay in their own way (overtime or 2nd jobs), over two-thirds (68%) of UK employees with money worries do not tell their employer about their concerns [Wagestream]. Of this 68%, most cited the feeling of shame and embarrassment, or a cultural belief that you shouldn’t talk about your finances with others. Some cited a lack of trust in their employer – or a fear of discrimination or job loss once their issues had been divulged.

Tackling the mental health stigma

Whilst progress has been maintained in tackling the mental health stigma as a society, people are much more likely to talk about their mental health in the workplace. If we want to open the conversation so people can improve their financial wellbeing, we need to do the same with money.

3 ways employers can tackle the money stigma at work

  1. Train money champions to signpost and be visible: There’s been progress on the mental health stigma and one of the reasons is the success of the Mental Health First Aiders and similar schemes. Without training, it can be hard for managers and colleagues to know what should and shouldn’t be said, but this type of training gives confidence that makes people approachable but also more likely to open a conversation.
  2. Never waste an opportunity to talk about money: It’s not only societal trends that offer opportunities to talk about money. Internal changes, such as promotions, are good opportunities to encourage employees to review their short-term and long-term financial goals. The same is true of external changes in an employee’s life: for example when people apply for mortgages they often talk to their HR department. o Don’t waste these opportunities to start a dialogue – it’s a great way to build trust with employees. In fact, nothing says you’re more open to having a conversation than by clearly showing you’re interested in starting one. If you have money champions, using them to start conversations within their departments or cohorts can be an easy way to take action at scale.
  3. Celebrate Talk Money Week throughout your organisation: Talk Money Week is a yearly campaign aimed at encouraging conversations about money – it’s not limited to the workplace, but it’s an ideal existing initiative that organisations can use as a catalyst for their own plans. In 2023, Talk Money Week begins on November 6th. Spearheaded by the Money and Pensions Service, Talk Money Week offers a participation pack for employers looking to take part, that includes various useful materials and insight so you can get off to a good start. It’s a great way to start a conversation internally and provides a yearly date for your diary.

Are there ready-made solutions out there?

We have seen some innovative solutions out there that are tackling this issue head on. However, the best solutions we’ve seen at CCP work with some of the top brands in the UK to provide in-depth financial education materials to help staff with budgeting. One includes the use of an intuitive app which provides employees with an easy way to help manage finances all in one place.

Such solutions have seen huge improvements, with one UK business citing the following since introducing said programme and app:

  • Increased retention by up to 16%
  • Increased shifts worked by up to 26%
  • Reduced payroll queries by up to 40%

By rolling out such a programme, the business in question has been able to retain good people, who are doing a great job in looking after their customers.

That feels like a win-win to me!

Looking for help?

Need help in planning a better financial future for your employees? Let us know, we would love to have a chat with you.