According to the Money Advice Service more than 16m people in the UK have less than £100 in savings, and financial stress can have an impact on employee performance; research has shown a link between personal financial problems and employee productivity1.
When viewed alongside findings made in our annual Benefits and Trends survey – notably that 62% of organisations believe that financial wellbeing is the responsibility of the employer – it is clear that employers need to be taking steps to support their employees with all aspects of their wellbeing. Financial wellbeing fits firmly into that responsibility and is now considered to be a factor as important as physical or mental health, when gauging the overall wellbeing of employees.
Many of us are not as healthy as we would like to be, and in many cases as we think we are. Saving for retirement, supporting families, managing credit, debt and household expenses can be a serious strain and it is an area of opportunity for employers to provide support for employees.
Employers must look to technology
There are a wide range of solutions available to employers in this space. Resources such as a financial wellness portal to support with awareness and uptake of financial benefits is a great start. Discounts platforms offer a way for employees to be thriftier with their spending. Pension and savings modellers can offer a clear picture of an individual’s long-term financial outlook and can be highly effective when paired with the financial education programmes.
In order to provide effective support employers must look to technology, and a financial wellbeing app may be the difference-maker. More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones, and 80% of ‘mobile minutes’ are spent on apps2. It is well known that technology can help to support physical and mental health, with a wide range of apps, trackers and wearables available. It’s no surprise that technology can support with improving financial wellbeing as well.
Consumers may already be comfortable with using technology to manage money; all high-street banks have an app and you can use your mobile phone to pay contactless. An app puts the information and control into the hands of the employee and equips them to help make better financial decisions in the short, medium and long term.
An app such as Well One Money gives a holistic view of an individual’s financial situation and can support with their overall financial wellbeing in a number of ways:
- Consolidated financial information from connected sources including bank accounts, savings, pensions, company benefits, ISAs, investments, mortgage and any properties, plus credit card balances or loans.
- Secure connection to bank and savings accounts
- Budgeting functionality, allowing users to measure spending against accounts, cards or spending categories.
- Savings forecasting – clear picture of likely savings levels based on spending
- Financial education is available based on the users’ circumstances and financial goals
- All in the palm of the user’s hand and available at the touch of a button.
As far as the employer is concerned utilising technology helps to support better, more consistent and more comprehensive financial support and may contribute to alleviating the financial stresses which all too many employees are suffering from. Employers need to think hard about the level of support they are offering employees with their wellbeing, and financial health fits firmly into that concern. For employees, there is an opportunity to leverage technology to help to take control of their finances and plan their futures -offering peace of mind and contributing to overall wellbeing.
For more information or to discuss any of the issues outlined in this article, please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0344 573 0033.
Aon UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 00210725. Registered Office: The Aon Centre, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AN.