There was a time when people whose conversation revolved around money were vilified for being ‘materialistic’. But nowadays most such individuals are simply trying to survive.
Indeed, with the costs of food, energy and virtually everything else skyrocketing, anyone not preoccupied with making ends meet tends to be the exception rather than the norm.
So, employees need all the help they can get in this area, and employers who provide it should engender considerable goodwill and loyalty, which in turn should boost morale and profitability and help with the retention of key personnel.
Encouraging employees to have a better relationship with money can also slash presenteeism and absenteeism costs by reducing financial stress, and give a company greater control over its succession planning as a result of employees finding themselves able to afford to retire at the time they want to.
Already in the benefits package
Some steps that can be taken involve no outlay other than the time taken by the communications team to make employees aware of existing features they can access in their employee benefits package that can save them time or money, help them reduce stress or provide important guidance and information.
For example, group risk providers commonly offer virtual GP services and mental health support, and their rehabilitation services will sometimes fund private operations to help employees return to work as soon as possible.
Employee assistance programmes (EAPs), which can help with debt management and financial stress, are also widely available – either as add-ons to group risk, private medical insurance (PMI) or health cash plan schemes or on a stand-alone basis.
Additionally, some pension providers offer scheme members free online lessons and tools that can help everyone from complete beginners to experienced savers take control of their finances and prepare for their future.
Providing financial education
But employers are also increasingly realising that it’s worth going a step further and offering financial education services that can address both short-term and longer-term financial concerns.
Chase de Vere is well placed to help in this respect because, unlike most of our competitors in the employee benefits space, we have an independent financial adviser (IFA) arm.
Our range of financial education modules cover everything from pension planning and budgeting and debt management to – just launched this June – family finances made simple. We even offer a course based around our top 10 financial tips.
One of the most important of these tips involves setting financial goals, because being clear on these is essential to making the most of one’s money. Making decisions with a clear end point in mind can make it easier to achieve financial security and independence and allow one to enjoy the life one seeks financially – whatever obstacles may materialise.
We recommend making several small, short and achievable financial goals because, by realising these one at a time, employees are more likely to stay motivated and reach them.
We also emphasise that whatever happened yesterday is done and dusted and cannot be changed. But what happens today can be.
Other top tips
Another of our top tips is to review the previous year’s budget plan to establish what did and didn’t work. Where budgeting methods and tools are ineffective, for example, it’s time to look for a better way of tracking spending.
Not surprisingly, keeping on top of borrowing also figures in the top 10, and we recommend making a list of all sources – such as mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, store cards and bank overdrafts – and then calculating the amount owed.
Employees should then ensure they are paying as low an interest rate as possible, which may involve switching credit cards or mortgages or consolidating various forms of borrowing into one loan.
Other top tips include: protecting one’s income, checking interest rates on existing savings, making use of tax-efficient allowances and reviewing existing investments, retirement planning goals and estate plans.
If you would like to find out more about Chase de Vere’s financial education services or about other ways in which we can help your employees cut costs or develop a better relationship with money, then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0345 609 2002 .
Content correct at the time of writing.