Calls for employers to offer stress-busting financial guidance
20 August 2012
The world’s largest HR professional body is calling on employers to help improve financial education among their staff in a bid to reduce stress and improve take-up of other employee benefits.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says employers are “missing a trick” by failing to offer at least basic financial guidance to staff and has today launched a guide to workplace financial education.
It argues that with stress identified as the leading cause of long-term sickness absence, there is a “real incentive” for employers to tackle financial-related stress, such as that relating to debt.
Another major incentive for employers to invest in financial education, according to the guide, is that without it, resources put into employee benefits packages could be wasted as employees do not appreciate the value of what is being offered to them.
The CIPD has also released research today showing that three quarters of workers report being offered no form of financial support or advice by their employer to help them better understand and manage their finances.
The organisation’s Summer 2012 Employee Outlook report, based on a survey of more than 2,000 employees, also shows that 59% of employees say they are experiencing some form of financial difficulty.
Among those workers who said they were offered advice or support, the most common offerings were employee assistance programmes (13%); access to an IFA (7%); workshops on financial self-management (4%); online financial guidance (3%); access to a credit union (3%); and access to hardship loans (2%).
Charles Cotton, reward adviser at CIPD, said: "Employers may think that the financial savvyness of their employees is not their responsibility.
“But the impact of not providing financial education can mean a workforce pre-occupied or overwhelmed by their own financial worries, and unable to appreciate the value of their organisation's pay, benefits and pensions package.”
He said that even a little financial education can improve staff performance by alleviating stress and pressure caused by money worries, while it can also boost motivation and staff retention by helping employers get across the value of the financial benefits they offer.
Cotton added: “And, by heightening general financial awareness, it can create a workforce that better appreciates the business pressures faced by their employers."