Money is a sensitive topic that not everyone feels comfortable talking about—especially if there’s concern about your own financial wellbeing.
As an employee, financial stress can manifest in a number of negative ways including mental stress as well as impacting your overall productivity in the workplace.
It’s no secret that the global economy is volatile right now and shows no signs of dissipating anytime soon. As a result, the financial struggles employees go through are very real and natural.
In a 2022 survey, more than 70% of employees reported that they were stressed about their financial status and that it was affecting their work. A later survey revealed that 64% of employees' financial stress was impacting the way they do their job with the figure rising to 70% among younger employees.
With these revelations, it’s essential for employees and employers to take the right steps to further financial wellness and enhance employee performance. Let’s first take a closer look at how employees can retake control over their financial wellbeing.
Scrutinise your budget
One of the fundamental ways to combat financial stress is by controlling your expenses. In any economic situation—good or bad—it’s important to have a good handle on household income and expenses.
Start by conversing with your family and discussing what areas of your spending you could cut back on. One of the areas that families often spend more money on than what’s needed is supplies with food and paper products taking the lead.
Keep an eye on your weekly or monthly consumption and spend money only on what you need rather than what you want. It may be a difficult change to make, however, it can go a long way in helping you make the right choices for you and your family.
Now isn’t the time for you to start draining your retirement accounts. Putting money aside can really go a long way during times of high financial stress. With a quarter of UK households having saved less than £2,100 in 2022, it’s safe to assume that most Britons haven’t saved enough money to get them through a financial crisis.
This is why it’s important to hold off dipping into your savings for as long as possible. Once you start tightening your budget you’ll find more money remaining in your savings or retirement accounts. Don’t be enticed into splurging the extra money on small luxuries you don’t need. Keep it in your account and forget about it while it generates interest.
Does employee financial stress affect employers?
In a word—yes. Employee financial stress plays a significant role in how well your business operates.
What’s important to remember as an employer is that financial stress impacts everyone at one point or another—even you. With financial stress being a leading cause of stress in the UK, it’s important for employers to dig deeper into the reasons why employees feel this way.
From lack of savings and too much debt to limited household income and unexpected bills, the reasons for employee financial stress vary from one individual to the next, but at its core financial stress stems from a real-life financial problem that causes stress and emotions.
Symptoms of a financially stressed employee
Identifying the symptoms of financial stress can be challenging to recognise since your employees may feel embarrassed to confide in you about their financial problems. Even on the off chance that they do speak to you about it the signs of financial stress may be subtle.
If an employee doesn’t feel comfortable speaking to you about their finances then there are a few clues to keep an eye out for if your employee is financially stressed:
- Short temper
- Distracted at work
- Anxiety and depression
- Withdrawn or unsociable
- Declining quality of work
When companies support their employees’ financial wellbeing, they are more likely to become highly productive and be happier, and may stay with your company for longer. That’s why many companies today are offering financial wellness programs or initiatives as part of their overall employee benefits package and it may be something to consider rolling out to your employees if you haven't done so yet.
Seek support from experienced financial wellbeing consultants
Offering the right financial advice and support may not be something that employers are equipped to handle and if you’re an employee you could benefit greatly from having that support—especially if it comes from a financial wellbeing expert.
While both employers and employees may feel the strain of the rising financial burdens, reaching out to the right financial wellbeing professional can help you to reduce stress and take control of your financial standing.