At Propellernet, we seek to make life better for our clients, their customers, our team and the community, and part of this includes supporting our employees’ wellbeing. We actively encourage and support our employees to look after themselves, both at home and at work, and we’re proud to have consistently been named in the top 12 UK small and medium workplaces in the Great Place to Work awards for 5 years running.
We’re always striving to improve the wellbeing of our people, so much so that ‘wellbeing’ is one of our five company values, along with ‘creativity’, ‘innovation’, ‘fun’ and ‘adventure’. Last year we attended the Wellbeing at Work Event and it got us thinking about what employee wellbeing means to us, what we already offer and what else we could do.
At Propellernet, we have a range of benefits to promote employee wellbeing including a health cash plan that incorporates physical and mental wellbeing, there’s free breakfast and fresh fruit, subsidised weekly Pilates and massages, coaching, Propel Days (where employees are given time to develop personally and professionally) and flexible working hours, to name a few. These all cover a broad range of initiatives across physical, psychological and social health wellbeing, but we felt there was a crucial element missing, and that was a program to support financial wellbeing.
Did you know:
- The average total debt per UK household in February 2019 was £59,552 (The Money Charity)
- The average credit card debt per household being £2649 in February 2019, with the average credit card interest rate in March 2019 being 19.81% (The Money Charity)
- Over a third (34%) of working employees in the UK have a month or less salary saved, 14% have no savings whatsoever (2018 report by Neyber, Financial Wellbeing provider)
- Money worries are the primary cause of stress, greater than health, relationships or career. These employees are 8.8 times more likely to have sleepless nights, 7.6 times more likely not to finish their daily tasks, and 5.7 times more likely to have troubled relationships with work colleagues (Survey: The Employers Guide to Financial Wellbeing)
- Poor financial wellbeing costs UK employers up to £51 billion per annum, this equates to up to 2.4% of GDP annually (Salary Finance, The Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing 2018-19).
These are all pretty sobering figures and when you start delving into the impact of financial insecurity on mental health it gets even more worrying. The inextricable link between stress levels, mental health and your employment is encapsulated in the flowchart below (Overstretch, overdrawn, underserved by Evans, Holkar & Murray 2017)
So, what did we do?
Having realised the scale of employee economic insecurity in the UK, we decided to seek the help of Simonne Gnessen, owner of Wise Monkey, Financial Coaching and author of Sheconomics. Her approach and ethos was immediately compelling, having spent over 10 years as a Financial Advisor, she takes that knowledge and works with clients to identify their psychological relationship and behaviours with money, and spot ways in which to overcome barriers and reach financial goals. We knew she could offer our employees the support they needed to understand the complex world of personal finance. Having kicked off the initiative with discussions about financial wellbeing during a company meeting and surveying interest across the company, we found nearly half (46%) of employees were interested in 1-2-1 coaching with Simonne, with at least 4% of respondents in the “Out of Control of their finances” scale of range.
By providing employees with the opportunity to work confidentially with a trained financial coach, they can begin to recognise and reframe their relationship with money and take positive steps towards achieving their financial goals and building a financially stable future. This contributes towards their all-round wellbeing as well as gaining new skills and knowledge they can use to build and sustain the lifestyle they want. Nearly 90% of employees surveyed following their 1-2-1 sessions had made positive changes to their finances, with nearly all interested in follow up sessions.
And as for Propellernet, by supporting all areas of wellbeing, our employees can bring the best version of themselves to work, so they can continue to develop award winning work for our clients.
For a wealth of practical ideas and tips on how to increase employee engagement and wellbeing in your company, visit www.superengaged.co.uk, where you’ll find a range of resources including a free sneak peek of SUPERENGAGED, the Propellernet playbook on employee engagement and wellbeing in the workplace.