Organisations need to understand how to support staff’s psychological wellbeing, which has been recently exposed to traumatic working conditions, especially where employees have little or no training in preparing or coping with the challenging working environment’s emotional impact.
Wellbeing research suggests that good organisational leadership and supportive work culture can positively impact these staff’s psychological wellbeing before, during and after a crisis. During this period of increased pressure and anxiety, employers must send a clear message that staff wellbeing matters.
In a recent analysis, the consultants Deloitte said they had carried out research that suggested that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion a year. The report found that one in six workers experiencing mental health problems at any one time before the pandemic, and stress thought to be responsible for almost half of working days lost in Britain. An updated report is likely to find that number has risen significantly in the last 12 months.
The relationship between mental health and the workplace is a complex one. Still, Deloitte summarises the finding by saying ‘for every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions they get £5 back in reduced absence, presenteeism and staff turnover’- proving investment in people and their wellbeing a vital part of what makes a business tick.
In an interview with Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind agreed that forward-thinking employers are investing in staff wellbeing and those who do save money in the long run. The report shows the link between prioritising staff wellbeing and improved loyalty and productivity; and decreased sickness absence and resignations.
What Can Employers Do to Increase Staff Wellbeing?
We have seen through COVID and the past year an expansion of wellbeing that focuses on improving financial wellbeing and supporting mental health and resilience.
Many surveys and reports show that mental health and money problems are often intricately linked. According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, half (46%) of people in problem debt also have a mental health problem. 86% of respondents to a Money and Mental Health survey with experience of mental health problems said that their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse.
One problem can feed off the other, creating a vicious cycle of growing financial problems and worsening mental health that is hard to escape.
Employers can support and encourage employees to tackle their financial difficulties in several ways suggested by Deloitte:
– Increasing the level of employer engagement
– Initiating and embedding culture change
– Providing financial management training
– Providing financial support where appropriate.
According to the latest REBA Wellbeing Research Report the top five growth areas in wellbeing provision for this year are predicted to be:
– Women’s wellbeing
– Support for carers
– Money worries/ financial concerns
– Sleep problems
– Social wellbeing
“Most organisations now understand that having a physically and mentally healthy workforce is linked to engagement and therefore productivity,” says Dame Carol for the REBA research.
Financial Education and Support is at the Heart of a Wellbeing Strategy
Until recently employers have believed that financial benefits such as pension and discounts were sufficient enough and it is all they can do to support employees. This is now quickly changing in the face of the pandemic, the stagnant economy, and the changing working conditions.
Financial education includes helping people understand where their money goes and avoid employers can integrate things like budgeting, debt, savings, and education with other money-saving benefits as part of a broader package.
Now more than ever new fintech solutions are developing to supplement your employees’ financial health, such as giving them access to some of their salary early, dedicated shifts and bonuses as they earn them. While this may sound like financial madness, it’s actually a way to fast-track employees’ sense of wellbeing and protect workers’ mental health all in one go.
Offering your staff access to a small amount of the salary they have already earned early tells employees how much you value them without saying a word. Such solutions often offer more than on demand payments.
fastP.A.Y.E offers free access to already earned wages in a unique way offering financial wellbeing as a priority for companies of all sizes, providing a sustainable way to deliver a financial wellbeing strategy. The strategy is achieved by way of an agreement between the employees and employers.
The employer decides when, how often and how much their employees can access, and in turn, the employees no longer have the ‘waiting till payday’ should they find themselves short of money or have to cover unexpected expenses. Flexible wage management helps employees manage their finances better and will mark you as a highly progressive employer.
The key benefits that differentiate fastP.A.Y.E from competitors are:
– It’s the only ethical service out there that is not a loan.
– Employees have access to a benefits assessment calculator that will show if they are missing out on any Government benefits or grants.
– We closely work with various charities and provide access to up to date education and advice.
– We do not charge employees.
– Increased morale and productivity is noticeable.
– The employer is in complete control of how much money is released and how often in conjunction with the wellbeing strategy.
– An increased applicant pool becomes available as the incentive to join the organisation is unique.