January is synonymous with goal setting. The pandemic is, hopefully, finally subsiding and employers are no doubt keen to kick off the year with a positive start.
For others though, and perhaps a few employees, January can be a slow start. There is Dry January providing a reminder that the festive season is well and truly over, credit card bills to pay and a media narrative threatening the cost of living.
Even those who had saved up for a rainy day could be distracted from achieving their targets this month.
To boost morale and get employees back on track, a proactive approach to financial well-being can help.
The importance of financial well-being
Having good financial well-being means to feel secure about one’s finances now and in the future. It is a major contributor to an overall state of well-being. If employees are stressed about money, it shows in other areas of their life, such as at work.
Whilst finances can seem like a personal matter, and may be difficult for some people to talk about, promoting good money management and showing support can have a positive impact on employees and the wider business.
From alleviating stress and helping employees to focus on their work, to building better budgeting skills, which can be useful for various roles and departments.
Promoting good financial well-being in your business
In the October Budget, the UK Government acknowledged that better numeracy skills can open doors to employment. Keep an eye out for the new UK-wide adult maths programme expected to launch this spring.
A quick Google search can reveal free financial education for adults and helpful resources for your employees. There are other ways in which you can offer support to improve financial well-being in your business without breaking the bank too.
Signposting charities and organisations that offer free, impartial debt advice, such as Citizens Advice, National Debt Line and Step Change can be a good place to start. Additionally, you may like to consider implementing an Employee Assistance Programme which can provide staff with confidential counselling on a wide range of topics, including financial advice.
If you’re considering providing an employee with a loan, this is possible but it’s best to consult HR as it involves setting up an agreement for monthly deductions from payroll.
Government advice to work from home ended in England last week which will see the return of the commute for some teams. If you don’t need staff back in the office immediately, it could be helpful to phase their return. This can help them to plan and budget for commuter costs.
Financial support available for businesses
If this topic has got you thinking about your own financial well-being and budgets for your business, check out some of the following resources for further information and support:
- The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy lists over 100 schemes providing financial support for businesses.
- The Help to Grow: Digital scheme provides discounts on approved software for eligible applicants.
- Growth Hubs promote and deliver business support based on local needs. Check out this list to see if there is one near you.