Our Training for Workplaces
Build financial resilience in your workforce.
Financial difficulties are affecting productivity at work.
Two thirds (67%) of employees who are finding things financially difficult report at least one sign of poor mental health, compared to 41% of those who are financially comfortable.
Half of employees who are finding things difficult financially felt they achieved less than they would have liked (55%) or worked less carefully (53%) over the last four weeks as a result of emotional problems (such as feeling depressed or anxious). By comparison, only one in three of those managing well or comfortably financially felt they achieved less than usual (31%), or found they worked less carefully (28%). Employees who are finding things financially difficult are also more than twice as likely to have been less able to concentrate than usual as those who are financially comfortable (29% to 12%). They are also nearly three times more likely to have lost more sleep over worry than usual (36% to 13%).
Financial difficulties also affect relationships with colleagues, motivation and likelihood of sickness absence. In some cases, financial difficulties worsen mental health problems, meaning employees become too unwell to work and need time off; in others, financial concerns mean employees feel unable to take time off 6 to recover, and instead continue to attend work while productivity drops.
A comprehensive approach to employee mental health has to include efforts to support financial wellbeing both across the workforce and, in particular, for those experiencing poor mental health, whose financial struggles could worsen or prolong their difficulties.
Source: The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, May 2017
Three ways to break the link between financial difficulty and mental health problems.
1. Build financial resilience
Employers should explore providing both savings schemes (KiwiSaver) and short-term loans through payroll, allowing a lower rate of interest to be offered and helping employees to avoid fees and charges.
2. Make it OK to say
Include training on problem debt and financial difficulty in management training and minimise the costs of participation in work to reduce stigma and ensure that employees in financial difficulty are not excluded from social or professional events.
3. Help once problems have set in
Support employees who are taking sickness absence to avoid financial difficulty, by establishing reasonable sick pay policies, considering group income protection policies and by signposting to welfare advice where appropriate.