An employee’s problems with personal finances have a way of affecting the employer. When financial stress hits your worker, expect low productivity and absenteeism. And that employee’s “personal” issues become a company’s problem.
If you are a small business owner (or an entrepreneur with a tight budget), you may not have the luxury of offering stellar retirement packages or higher salaries to help alleviate your employee’s financial problems. Don’t worry, though.
You can take steps to aid your workers with money management and ease some of their financial worries.
Here are a few ideas to help workers with their money issues:
1. Incorporate Financial Well-Being into Your Employee Wellness Program
If you want to improve the overall well-being of your employees, you’ll need to go beyond traditional sleep, stress, nutrition, mental health and fitness programs. Help workers get on the right track financially by providing financial challenges within your employee engagement or well-being program.
Make sure to clearly outline what your employees have to do and incentivize them for their actions or when they do a job well done. The following are a few financial health challenge ideas:
- Set a monthly savings goal
- Determine your monthly expenses by asking questions, such as, “how much are you spending on food?” and “how much is your homeowner’s insurance, monthly mortgage and other related expenses?”
- Start a debt cleanse
- Learn about the financial benefits of your company through an in-person meeting, online resources or a webinar
- Attend a financial education seminar
- Pack a healthy lunch instead of ordering takeout
2. Implement Flexible Work Schedules and Arrangements
Employees who drive to the office every day spend money on expensive gas. Also, if they have young children, they may need to pay for day care while at work.
If you can, give your employees the option of a four-day workweek. Instead of five eight-hour days, your workers can put in four 10-days. An additional day off per week will save on fuel expenses and possibly child care costs.
You could also offer flexible working arrangements. If you have employees who are purely doing back office work or not facing clients, you could ask them to work remotely or from home for specific days of the week. An example is working from home on Mondays and Fridays, and coming into the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
3. Offer an Employee Discount Program
Another way to help employees get the most out of their hard-earned salary is to provide negotiated discounts on essential goods, tech gadgets, car insurance and even local attractions.
Some businesses, in fact, take their employee discount program a step further with a voluntary employee purchase program. This enables people to sign up for educational services or purchase household items through payroll deduction.
Whatever discount program you come up with, know that this can aid workers with their finances by helping them save a bit of money on their necessary spending.
4. Enforce a Relaxed Dress Code
If your company is part of an industry where casual clothing is ok, give your non-client-facing employees the opportunity to dress casually. They can wear whatever they like, so long as they sport a clean and professional appearance.
If your workers have to wear uniforms, consider renting or purchasing uniforms for your employees. This way, they won’t have to shell out cash on clothing for work.
When renting, arrange for workers to turn in their uniforms every week to the rental service provider for cleaning. This will cut down employee laundry costs.
If you don’t want to pay for the whole cost of the employee uniforms, make an arrangement with your workers to cover a percentage of the cost. One option you can look at is to deduct a small amount out of your employees’ salary every pay period until they’ve fully paid for the uniform.
5. Build a Meritocracy
Promote merit-based pay in your company. This involves paying your top performers, as well as employees who go above and beyond their duty, bonuses, cash incentives and salary increases. Alternatively, you could give the most productive employees in your office a stress-relieving vacation.
If your employees are struggling with their finances, don’t just watch from afar and say that it’s not your problem. Take the time to give them a helping hand.