Coronavirus - we're here to help
From how to access your account online, scam awareness, your wellbeing and our community we're here to help.

Skip to main content
  • Register
  • Help
  • Contact us
  • Log in to HL Account
  • A A A
  • Three ways to improve the long-term financial resilience of your employees

    Sarah Pearce looks at how to give your employees the opportunity to build their finances back, and better than ever.

    Important notes

    This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

    “Build back better”. You might be familiar with this slogan, the latest phrase used by the UK government to articulate their Coronavirus recovery plan. And the slogan got us thinking; can it be applied to personal finances as well?

    According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, national income fell by 20% in April to a level last seen in the early 2000s. In addition, non-payment of household bills increased sharply after lockdown, so much so that by May, the number of households making mortgage, rental and council tax payments were 14%, 11% and 9% lower than predicted on pre-crisis trends respectively. These numbers suggest that some households were increasingly struggling to make ends meet during the crisis.

    These statistics are thought provoking. However, the good news is you can play a role in helping employees build their finances back. And better than ever before.

    Start with your employees

    Helping your employees with their financial wellness is not about creating a burden for business. Rather it’s about creating the tools that help employees improve their own finances. Start by understanding what your workforce are struggling with. Don’t always assume you know what their issues are. If you address their concerns, you’ll get a far higher level of participation and engagement.

    Research can be done through a simple online survey you can create for free (or for a small monthly fee) online. Or, make your data more qualitative and conduct interviews with your workforce. Although this method takes time, collecting data in this manner can be invaluable in helping you understand what’s really affecting your employees’ finances and how you can provide a tailored solution for them.

    How to make it happen

    So, once you’ve collected your data, how do you actually go about making financial resilience happen?

    The first step will be to work out who is going to deliver the resources; do you feel comfortable with offering this in-house, or will you work with an external provider? If you’re doing it in-house, review the resources you already have to hand. You could find your existing advisors have some really helpful content – be it tools, calculators or webinars. Pension Wise and the Money and Pensions Service also provide some excellent resources for those approaching retirement.

    When choosing an external provider, opt for one that provides tailored information and resources for your workforce. Make sure they’ll have discussions with your stakeholders, and provide you with up to date feedback on how your employees’ are accessing their service. This will ensure you provide a top class financial education service to your employees.

    Start with the end

    What does ‘better’ actually look like for your workforce and employees? It may be they just want to save a little bit extra each month to help them cover those difficult moments in life. Or they might want to overhaul their finances completely, looking to you, as their employer, to help guide them through this process.

    With this in mind, remove any barrier to action you can think of for your employees. For example, if you’re suggesting starting a savings habit, you should direct them to somewhere they could begin saving. In the same vein, if your workforce want to know about budgeting, give them a link to the tools to help them budget effectively.

    Incorporating a measure of effectiveness can also help you monitor the long term financial resilience of your employees. Things like learning how many people have taken action as a result of your interventions can be really helpful to inform your next steps and help you feed back to your stakeholders.

    Ultimately, aim for progress not perfection. Financial education is a marathon, not a sprint. For most members, it’s all about marginal gains. But over the long term, this can benefit you as an employer, and help your employees build their financial foundation back bigger, and better than ever.

    More articles

    Important notes

    This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

    Subscribe for the latest employer insights from HL Workplace

    • Monthly news
    • Expert guidance
    • Financial wellbeing tips
    Sign up