Half (50%) of employees experiencing financial worries believe that the quality of their work is negatively affected as a result, according to a study commissioned by pension and investment organisation Aegon.
The research, based on an August 2018 YouGov survey of 505 HR decision makers from UK private sector organisations, also revealed that half (50%) of those with financial concerns believe they are less creative or less able to complete tasks that should be routine.
More than two-thirds (69%) of employees say they face money worries. These can stem from feeling under-prepared for financial emergency (27%), the everyday costs of living (26%) and a lack of preparedness for retirement (21%).
Steven Cameron (pictured), pensions director at Aegon, said: “Employees have told us that poor financial wellbeing is harming their productivity at work. Poor financial wellbeing is not only stressful for individuals, but it’s also costing employers millions of working days a year, and billions to the economy.”
Approximately half (51%) of respondents told the survey that a lack of employee financial wellbeing, including concerns over long-term saving, retirement plans, budgeting, debt and living costs, is an issue for their organisation; 63% of large employers are concerned about their workers’ ability to save for the future.
More than three-quarters (77%) of employers revealed that they are not aware of regulations around the difference between financial guidance and advice, and therefore do not know when they might be overstepping the line into advice, which can only be given by a regulated adviser. Almost half (45%) think they would be intruding by approaching employees about it.
However, the research found that 70% of employees would find general information highlighting steps to improve their financial wellbeing useful, while 64% would value face-to-face counselling and support around debt management.
Cameron said: “Clearly, employers want to do more to provide the help their employees need. We need to start a ‘win-win’ conversation about this issue so employees know where they can receive support, and employers feel empowered to give it.”