We have surveyed over 2,500 UK employees to find out how they’re feeling and what they want from their employer during the COVID-19 crisis.
Here is what we uncovered:
Employees are worried about their financial situation
A staggering 69% of employees said they felt worried, stressed or anxious about their financial situation. The Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing 2019-20 showed that employees are more stressed about finances than their careers, health and relationships. The research also highlighted the UK’s savings crisis - 19% of UK employees save nothing each month and 20% only save up to £50. It’s therefore not a surprise that faced with a period of great economic instability, so many people are feeling anxious and are left vulnerable to developing poor financial wellbeing.
The Resolution Foundation has estimated that between 7-10 million UK employees will be furloughed under the Government’s job retention scheme. 50% of all UK companies are currently putting staff onto the scheme.
For some employees, being furloughed won’t impact their financial wellbeing too much, but for others, a cut in pay could result in not being able to pay bills and taking on additional debt. Some UK households will have more of a reduction in pay if both earners in a household have been furloughed. Many UK employees will also be facing the uncertainty of redundancy for themselves and their family.
How can employers help with this?
During this time, it’s important for employers to be providing both helpful advice, support and products and services that can help with employees’ financial needs. Here are the top three requests from the employees we surveyed on what they would like help from their employer with:
Struggling with borrowing or bills - 49%
Loss in household income 47%
How to reduce spending and make money go further - 24%
Employees want more communications about COVID-19 from their employer
59% of UK employees we surveyed felt they were either not getting any information from their employer or that they would like more. Only 1% of employees felt they were getting too much information from their employer!
What does this mean for employers?
Clear messages during this time are key. Communications could be anything from delivering messages that offer reassurance and opportunities for connection, to directing people to where they can find advice and information if they’re struggling with their wellbeing.
Here are five things to consider:
Find out how your employees are feeling by embedding specific COVID-19 related wellbeing questions into employee surveys.
Make sure your wellbeing offering/s is in one place and easy for employees to find.
Send out regular and relevant updates for your CEO and senior leadership team. Consider introducing different formats and styles such as a video message rather than a written email.
Ask employees to share tips and advice on what they’re doing to improve their wellbeing during this time and share these across the organisation.
Leverage existing networks and communities that can heighten your messages and get people connecting with each other.
Resources to help your employees during COVID-19
Our Head of Financial Education, Jason Butler has put together 10 financial tips to share with your employees. You can find them here.