By Simon Mayoh, Financial Planning Consultant, Armstrong Watson LLP

RESEARCH by Aegon states poor financial wellbeing costs UK employers £1.56bn every year through high levels of absence and a lack of productivity when employees show up for work unwell.

It is widely acknowledged that emotional and financial wellbeing – how people feel about the control they have over their finances and their relationship with money – are connected. Those in a poor financial situation are much more likely to experience feelings of stress and worry, causing sleepless nights, which can lead to poorer performance at work. This can also result in greater levels of absenteeism, which places extra stress on other staff and the cycle goes on. The survey found that half a million workers took time off in the last year due to their financial wellbeing.

Employees were also asked what caused their low financial wellbeing, with 37 per cent citing a lack of understanding about managing money and budgeting. What is interesting is that money worries did not just affect low-paid workers, more than half of average earners and more than one in three top earners worry about money.

Prioritising financial wellbeing in the workplace can lead to a more engaged, supported, and efficient workforce, resulting in greater productivity.

In recent surveys and webinars Armstrong Watson has carried out, one of the most frequently asked questions employees asked was around how to budget.

Employers are uniquely positioned to deliver money guidance around life-changing events such as for example changing roles, locations, starting a family, and retirement. Understanding employee needs and feedback through a colleague survey can offer a valuable insight, helping to understand the information, and support their employees will value the most. It can help an employer to decide the type of financial wellbeing programme to run and if specialist support and guidance is needed.

Having a workforce that is engaged, informed, supported and efficient can help increase productivity. It can also help to improve staff retention, reduce costs, and provide benefits in other ways. If employees can see their employers supporting them, they will feel more valued.

By understanding these issues employers will go a long way towards building trust with their employees.

For help, phone Simon Mayoh on 07860 846370 or email