Employees typically have to deal with day to day distractions and levels of stress that they can cope with. But sometimes individuals are also dealing with other problems, one of the most common of which is financial worries.
One group in particular that is feeling its fair share of finance-related stress and anxiety is millennials. These individuals entered the workforce at the height of the economic downturn and know all too well how difficult it can be to secure the right job and successfully juggle finances.
Indeed, recent research from Group Risk Development (GRiD), the industry body for the group risk protection sector, shows that 51% of employers believe stress and anxiety related to finances and debt is the health and wellbeing issue that most affects their millennial employees.
Furthermore, these worries are amplified as Christmas approaches and employees feel like they need to splash out and treat their family and friends with gifts – which often means living beyond their means and increasing their level of debt.
Speaking about the findings of the GRiD research, Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said that employers are right to be worried about their millennial employees’ stress levels, which are escalated due to finances, home and work life.
She added that “unless employers review their employee benefits packages accordingly, they run the risk of being like a long-lost aunt who comments ‘you’ve grown’ without really acknowledging any other changes.”
Fortunately, employers can help their employees deal with finance-related stress and anxiety. Here are 5 such ways:
1. Put the right financial safeguards in place
A lot of the stress associated with finances is caused by employees thinking about ‘what if’ scenarios. For example, ‘What if I am unable to work due to an illness or injury? How will I make ends meet?’
By putting employee benefits in place that safeguard individuals financially in the event they can’t work, employers can alleviate a significant amount of stress. Products such as Group Income Protection, Group Critical Illness and Private Medical Insurance all provide such reassurance.
2. Offer vouchers and discounts
Whether it is part of a rewards package for a job well done, or just a company perk, vouchers and discounts allow employees to get lower cost access to everything from gyms and restaurants to travel and online shopping.
3. Season ticket loans
Another practical way to help your employees financially is by offering season ticket loans. These loans allow the employee to get discounted rail travel good for the whole year, and pay it back through their salary on a monthly basis. Even when money is tight, the individual will still be able to get to and from work.
4. Workplace pension schemes
As people get older, the reality of surviving after they have retired becomes a lot more relevant. With workplace pension schemes, employers can encourage their employees to start saving for their later years, which will in turn alleviate some of the stress associated with living after retirement.
5. Bring in some financial experts
A simple, yet very effective step employers can take is to invite a representative from their pension provider or banking institution to talk with their employees about money matters. Whether it’s simple advice about budgeting, or more in-depth information about savings vehicles, these experts will inevitably benefit your staff.
Interested in finding out more about products that help safeguard your employees’ financial wellbeing? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to discuss them with you.
Stephen joined Premier Choice in 2006 as a Group Risk consultant and became Head of Group Risk in June 2013. In December 2017, Stephen also took over responsibility for the Protection division within Premier Choice and works to grow this in the same way he has the Group Risk division. Protection is a specialist area and fits well with his experience and expertise in the group risk market.