Mercer | Financial Wellness

Wealth and Investments

Financial Wellness - Taking a holistic view of employee wellness

What We Do

A healthy, engaged and inspired workforce is the beating heart of every successful business. However, increasingly employers are recognising the number of individuals experiencing debt and money problems. Research shows that financial anxiety can lead to long term stress and poor mental and physical health, resulting in absences, lower performance and increased turnover.

What can employers do to support this important element of their employees’ wellbeing? We recognise that businesses have the capability to provide solutions which can relieve employees of undue financial stress and drive positive behavioural change towards better financial outcomes.

Our Approach

In line with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s definition of financial wellbeing,1 we recognise four elements of financial wellness, drawing from the need for individuals to have financial security and financial freedom of choice, both at present and in the future.

As such we adopt a four pillar approach to financial wellness:

  • Control over day-to-day finances: Not overspending income, debt and expenses are manageable.
  • Prepared for the unexpected: Having the capacity to absorb a financial shock.
  • Freedom to make choices in life: Including access to resources and financial guidance and advice to make better financial decisions.
  • On track for the future: Having a plan for the future and saving towards it.

Our approach to financial wellness focuses on these four pillars, providing employees with practical solutions, guidance and advice, to help them achieve each of the four states. A state of financial wellness is not dependent on the level of wealth or income an individual may have, but instead on how well they are managing it. At the same time, how employees feel about their financial situation and their confidence to make financial decisions are as important as how well they are managing.

Did You Know?

The financial concerns of employees are often hidden from employers due to the stigma of discussing personal finances in the workplace. This does not mean that the problem is not costing your business. Research has found that poor financial wellness affects:

  • Productivity – 25% of employees admit that financial worries impact their productivity at work2
  • Absence – 45% claim that money matters are their #1 cause of stress3, a condition which leads to 15 million work days off each year in the UK4
  • Engagement - employers offering financial Wellness solutions have 22% more employees who are extremely or very engaged in the workplace5
  • Employee turnover – Employees who feel their income is not working for them will often be searching for jobs which pay slightly more. With the cost of turnover estimated at £30k per employee, this can be extremely costly for businesses6

Organisations have every reason to want their employees to be financially well. A well-designed employee financial wellness programme can help employers to address these issues, improve the value on their benefits spend, increase employee engagement, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

Our Solution

We help our clients build and deliver a Financial Wellness programme that helps employees take action to improve their financial situation and reduce their financial worries.

Our capability is unique in the market in that we offer a complete range of services from end-to-end consulting through to a suite of solutions – to deliver the full breadth of your employees’ financial wellness needs and your benefit objectives.

We can help you:

  • Understand the financial needs of your employees and the uncover opportunities in your current benefits programme (and spend) to address these needs.
  • Design an appropriate financial wellness programme and roadmap a phased implementation process aligned to your priorities, timeframes and available budget.
  • Provide a range of services from digital and face-to-face financial education, clinics and health checks, through to fully supported digital delivery platforms and point solutions such as salary deducted loans.
  • Help you actively and positively engage your employees on their wellbeing through consumer-oriented engagement principles and personalised communications strategies using the principles of behavioural science.
  • Provide ongoing programme management and governance oversight to ensure the programme continues to deliver value.

In addition, our approach is built on these features:

  • Data driven – We profile, diagnose and measure workforce needs beyond traditional groupings such as age and gender. We also evaluate the ROI of your benefits so you can see which benefits and interventions are valued, being utilised, and driving positive change in your organisation.
  • Holistic approach – We recognise the needs of employees’ financial wellness extend beyond income and pension. By using the four pillar approach to financial wellness, we ensure that employees have a well-rounded framework to achieve optimal financial resilience and confidence.
  • We turn intention into action – In addition to offering the right solutions, we incorporate behavioural science to inspire employees to secure positive financial outcomes, whilst becoming more engaged with their employee benefits.
  • Contextualised and personalised communications – We have found that targeted and personal communication methods which relate directly to the situation of the individual have an unprecedented ability to nudge employees towards taking actions which are beneficial to their personal financial wellness.

Our approach targets results that are worth measuring – greater employee experience and greater value of investment on your benefits spend.

If you’re looking for an inspired workforce, help your employees take care of their fundamental needs. Talk to us about Financial Wellness.

1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2015
2. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2017
3. PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2016
4. Office for National Statistics, 2014
5. Thomsons, 2016
6. Oxford Economics, 2014

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