Financial Advice in the Work Place
I have always been a firm believer in companies offering financial advice to their employees because it is an ‘all win’ situation. Employers who remove the distractions of financial concerns from the work place will have fully engaged staff rather than employees who are somewhere between slightly and hugely distracted by their finances.
Employees feel valued and welcome having someone to simplify their finances. When working with a company to help staff, financial advisers benefit from the economies of scale of being able to see several people in one place during a day, and can therefore offer better terms based on the efficiency.
To illustrate my points above, a number of recent surveys tell us the following:
Only 2 in 10 employees are satisfied with the efforts of their employer in helping them manage their finances (Barclays YouGov Survey, 2017)
38% of employees said they would move to a company which put financial wellbeing as a priority (Barclays YouGov Survey, 2017)
32% of Londoners say that money distractions have caused them work issues (CIPD Outlook report, 2017)
70% of the nation’s workforce admit to wasting a fifth of their time at work worrying about finances, costing the economy £120.7 billion a year. (Neyber’s DNA of Financial Wellbeing, 2016
It is clear from these statistics that it is totally in the interest of the employer to provide a source of financial advice in the work place to remove these distractions. If just 5% of an employee’s time and energy is being lost to financial concerns, and providing the solution to the problem takes up a small fraction of this lost resource, the investment in financial advice makes sense.
As evidenced above, a vast majority of employees feel that their employers aren’t doing enough to help them with their finances. A company that can reverse this statistic, by offering a comprehensive wellbeing programme, will move well ahead of one that doesn’t in terms of employee engagement, staff retention and the attraction of top talent.
From an employee’s point of view, having access to basic or comprehensive advice will be a big source of motivation. In my experience, an employee will be able to form proper financial goals and that then creates a clear link between their job and their future.
The really motivating factor for an employer is that the provision of comprehensive financial advice in the work place can be provided for little or no cost to the business. The key is to find a professional source of financial advice that will invest in your business and create a solution for your workforce. Most financial advice firms will seek access to your highest paid staff for
obvious reasons, however a progressive firm will understand that investing time & resources with all staff is the key to providing a holistic solution that will pay dividends in the long term.
I attended the Employee Benefits and Reward Forum in November and spoke with a large number of HR Directors. All were seeking financial advice or wellbeing solutions for their workforce, and the majority wanted to provide the same level of advice for all. Whilst I am all for the approach of equality, I don’t think this makes sense for financial advice in the workplace due to the vastly different needs of employees based on their age, income, tax position, assets & aims.
Younger, lower earners will want ideas on how to save and get on the property ladder. Employees in the middle part of their career are more likely to want to focus on family finances, efficient ways to clear their mortgage and how to maximise returns on the investments they have built to date. Employees who are in the later part of their working lives will be focused on their pensions, tax-efficient income sources in retirement and Inheritance Tax planning for parents. High earners will be seeking a source to help them with their tax-returns, alternatives to pensions, Lifetime Allowance & Annual Allowance Pension advice plus government approved ways to reduce their tax liabilities.
If I was the head of an HR team, I would be looking to engage with a source of advice that has the flexibility to take on all of these challenges and be able to demonstrate that they were offering my staff a better deal than they would ordinarily receive as an individual.