Over the last 10-20 years, the modern day workplace has changed dramatically due to the introduction of technology, a change in employee focus for what they want to get out of their career etc. As a result of these significant changes, companies are striving to entice potential employees by offering additional benefits, flexible working hours and more to create a happy and productive workplace.
However, one area that is sometimes overlooked or forgotten by companies is the financial well being of their employees. New research from CIPD (the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), in partnership with Close Brothers, stresses the importance finances have on an employee’s outlook with one in four people currently performing poorly at work as a result of money worries.
Rising levels of household debt where reported at the beginning of the year so it is understandable that concerns about money are important for many at the moment. These financial worries can have an impact on an employee’s mental and physical health which not only causes stress but can lead to a drop in work performance and self-esteem as well as a rise in absenteeism.
The research looks at how different age groups, sectors and pay grades think about money and debt problems. Of the 1,800 UK employees asked, it was clear that those aged 18-24 and those living in London are struggling the most as reports of problems rose to 31% and 32% respectively.
Money worries are affecting workers from many different pay grades too as 20% of those earning £45,000 to £59,999 admitted that their financial issues had affected their ability to do their job. The final area of study looked into the differences between men and women when it came to reporting money worries; only 23% of men said they would report issues while 28% of women said they were likely to speak about them.
The research suggests change is needed but not in the form of pay rises necessarily because as we saw from the findings above, earning more doesn’t necessarily mean that money worries disappear. Instead, the CIPD suggest focusing on financial well being in the workplace and understanding the worries of staff in order to provide help to them.
Problems mentioned in the survey range from being able to pay off existing debts, which was of particular importance to employees in Wales, while Londoners tend to worry more about being able to save for the future.
If workers feel they are fully supported in their workplace, it should help ease the worry and stress which in turn should improve productivity levels as well as reducing sickness days and absenteeism. It is in a company’s interests to look after their employees and that includes their financial situation alongside fulfilling health and safety requirements and providing a happy working environment.
For more information regarding this study, its findings and how you could help your employees, visit the CIPD website.