Nine in 10 (90%) workplaces do not have a financial wellness strategy in place, according to Thomsons Online Benefits.
The Employee Benefits Watch survey of 200 HR and reward professionals and 500 employees found that 64% of employers were unsure how much financial support (beyond salary and pensions) they should provide staff. Four in 10 (42%) were concerned about getting too involved in employees’ affairs. A quarter (25%) were worried about the cost of implementing such schemes.
However, employees were found to be willing to accept help from their employers if offered. Around 40% said that they would appreciate greater employer support towards saving for a holiday and buying a house, but just 12% and 4% respectively felt that they were supported by their organisations to reach these goals.
Employers do, according to the report, have an interest in expanding their current financial wellness offerings. More than half (51%) of employers are planning to implement a strategy in the future and 10% already have one. Just 39% do not have one and are not planning to implement one.
David Dodd, consulting director at Thomsons Online Benefits, suggested a financial wellness strategy could benefit both staff and employees. “Employers’ reticence to implement a financial wellness strategy is a missed opportunity to engage with their people, as employees of all ages are crying out for support in this area,” he said. “Offering benefits in the form of saving, budgeting and financial education tools presents employers with an invaluable opportunity to connect with their employees, and provide something they’re really looking for.
“Technology enables employers to empower and educate their employees – without actually getting involved in their financial affairs. Financial concerns can also have a significant impact on the engagement and productivity of individuals, so it makes good business sense for employers to address this.”