Director of Financial Wellbeing Services, Taxback.com
Financial wellbeing initiatives should be a core pillar of employee wellbeing programmes as they empower staff, reduce their stress and positively impact productivity levels.
These days — especially in the wake of the pandemic — companies understand the importance of supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of their employees. But they are increasingly realising that their financial wellbeing must be supported too.
Personalised advice and support
Many employers recognise that financial wellbeing should be a core pillar of their employee wellbeing programmes and are partnering with external financial services experts to give staff regular, bespoke, confidential, one-on-one consultations and reviews.
It’s a key way to protect an individual’s finances — and their mental health. “A strong focus on financial wellbeing is a win-win for employers and staff,” explains Barry Cahill, Director of Financial Wellbeing Services at Taxback.com, a company which provides global tax return filing and tax refund services.
“An employee who is under financial stress may be constantly worried and therefore less productive, which can affect their employer’s bottom line. But if an employee knows that their financial wellbeing is being genuinely, authentically supported by their employer, then they will feel more valued and appreciated” he says.
It stands to reason that happier staff are more likely to stay with their company. Plus, it’s a good recruitment tool, because organisations that offer unique benefits tend to set themselves apart from the competition.
An employee who is under financial stress may be constantly worried and therefore less productive, which can affect their employer’s bottom line.Barry Cahill
Offering employees meaningful benefits
Staff who are encouraged to become more financially savvy don’t just feel more empowered, says Joanna Murphy, CEO of Taxback.com. They can also enjoy greater peace of mind, particularly when it comes to tax affairs. They might even discover that they are eligible for a tax refund.
“Because of the pandemic, many people’s tax affairs have become extremely complicated,” says Murphy. “For example, employees working from home were paying for broadband, heating and lighting costs out of their own pockets. Many aren’t aware that tax relief is available to cover a percentage of those expenses.”
It’s no longer enough for companies to simply offer their employees a fruit basket and receive a pat on the back as a reward, notes Murphy. Staff rightly expect — and demand — more. “They want meaningful benefits and that includes good financial wellbeing support,” she says. “People are always anxious about their money. They shouldn’t have to deal with this issue in isolation. The very best employers recognise that finances are a constant challenge and create a meaningful support structure to benefit all their employees.”