In the past I’ve talked about pensions auto-enrolment as an opportunity to improve your success with staff engagement. In other words if auto-enrolment has to be done, and it does, then use it to your best advantage to get the most from your staff relations as a means of boosting productivity and profits.
There is an abundance of research which has proven beyond doubt that stress causes a significant loss of output in many businesses from the largest multinationals to the smallest of firms. Indeed some very recent research here in the UK identified that 23 per cent of staff surveyed had at some time called in absent due to a stress related condition. Moreover a closer analysis discovered financial worries as the largest single issue for almost a third.
The research identifies 46 per cent of people worry about their finances, which means every business has a financial stress problem.
Jo Adams, a North Scotland people management specialist said “the research is clear regarding the impact of financial stress. I believe, organisations are starting to recognise the benefits of improving financial awareness and giving staff tools to manage these issues can lead to improvements in absenteeism, engagement and of course, productivity”.
Financial well-being is usually described along the lines of ‘Being and feeling financially healthy and secure, today and for the future’. Easy to say but when were we ever taught the rudiments of achieving such a state? In 2013 it was announced that financial education was to form an official part of the English national curriculum, including lessons on the public finances. In Scotland the Curriculum for Excellence recognises the importance of building financial capability in all our young people. But how does that help those of us who have long departed the education system?
The good news is that Financial Well-being is topping the 2015 agenda for the UK’s leading Reward, HR and People leaders and the roll-out of auto-enrolment is a perfect opportunity for employers to make a positive impact on the provision of financial fitness services. Clearly there is a cost to each and every business but using the example of auto-enrolment and the mandatory employer contributions to a pension scheme we have a gilt edged opportunity to educate on the power of future financial independence.
By combining auto-enrolment with a financial well being strategy it is possible for organisations to engage with their staff on a regular basis to help them take much more control of their money and reach their financial goals. For many a generous auto-enrolment offering will go a long way after years of stagnant wages and by presenting the new pension funding requirements in a positive light we can take advantage of a golden opportunity to engage with our people.
So for all business owners it is crucial the pension design and implementation proposition chosen is capable therefore of transforming a financial headache into something that stimulates significant staff engagement and as a result delivers very real increases in productivity and profit.