Staying engaged, productive and financially well while working remotely during this pandemic can feel like a tall order. Even if a steady paycheck is still coming in, employee financial stress increases during times of uncertainty.
With the increased money stresses, employees are raising questions around emergency savings, what this volatile market means for their financial goals, like buying a house, increasing their investment portfolio or even saving for retirement. So what answers are employers providing?
In New Zealand, we are slowly expanding our focus from just wellbeing to including financial wellbeing and providing in-house support. However, with your staff working from home or remotely, there can be better ways for employers to support their employees’ financial wellbeing.
Here are five ways employers can implement financial wellbeing remotely and answer those questions around financial stress.
Harness digital/online education
Online learning is the name of the game when it comes to financially educating a remote population.
Employees can go at their own pace, which allows them to absorb knowledge when and where works best for them.
And, employers can strategically reinforce topics that are customised specifically to organisational goals. For example, retirement readiness, or becoming an employee-focused organisation.
Look for online education that will meet the needs of your employees, is well-designed and is motivating.
Offer remote coaching
During stressful times, many employees want to talk to an expert about their specific situation. That’s where financial advisors come in. When in-person meetings are out of the question, offer your team the opportunity to chat online, ask questions in an email, or set up a phone or video call with a financial professional.
New Zealand has free and qualified financial mentors throughout the country and can provide that one-on-one help. Find a financial mentor in your area here, or receive immediate advice via Moneytalks, a free financial hotline.
Bring lunch & learn sessions online
Many employees want expert guidance but aren’t sure what to ask. To engage with this group, take the traditional financial wellbeing lunch & learn webinar route. Virtual sessions where they can cover specific, timely and relevant topics. Attendees can opt-in and feel more confident and educated about their money.
This also provides a more comfortable space for attendees to ask money questions anonymously. While polls and chat-storms can be interactive and provide insights to employers on the challenges their employees face.
Provide guidance 24/7
It's easy to assume that remote work gives employees more free time, when in fact their schedules may be busier than ever. Juggling children learning from home and trying to maintain a work-life balance. By providing financial wellbeing that’s available 24/7 via online tools and education, guidance can be accessed around the clock.
Provide resources that are accessible around the clock on topics that are front of mind. When employees know that there are resources and support available, this will help ease their worries.
In times of financial uncertainty, one size fits all wellbeing strategies won’t cut it. Everyone’s lives and struggles differ, so designing user-first wellbeing solutions are key. Digital financial wellbeing solutions that provide financial assessments, personal goal setting and relevant content.
Data is key. When employers are aware of the stress points and areas of concern, they can be used to create educated guidance and recommendations. For example, if an employer is seeing that their team is particularly interested in learning about KiwiSaver, they can use this data and deliver a Lunch and Learn webinar on KiwiSaver.
We’re living in an ever-changing environment and adapting to this “new norm” of working from home and a digital-first employee experience. As the environment changes, workplaces need to adjust accordingly. Not only will this help your business with increased productivity but your staff will have less stress and form better workplace morale.
Need a hand with your financial wellbeing strategy? Our team at Spring is here to help! Click the button below to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch soon!