When employees are suffering with their physical health, be it a cough or cold, or something more physically obvious such as a bad back, it’s generally easier to see the signs. However, if your employees are struggling with their mental health it can often be trickier to spot. And, with one in three of the UK workforce having been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime1, it’s more important than ever for employers, and line managers to be able to recognise the signs of mental ill health.

There are many causes of mental health problems and according to a previous survey, 41% of people said that financial problems (money troubles/worries, debt, mortgage/rent) were the main cause of their stress2. So, with this in mind we wanted to find out if, as an employer, you knew where the highest levels of financial stress lies amongst your employees. Here are the results:

  • 83% said they did not know where the highest level of financial stress lies; and
  • 17% of people who voted said they did know.

These statistics clearly show that employers are struggling to understand where financial stress lies amongst their employees, and what the signs are. So, here are our ideas to help you identify where the highest levels of financial stress lie amongst your employees.

Look out for signs from your employees

It may be easier to identify physical health symptoms, but there are a number of recognisable signs that an employee might be suffering with their financial wellbeing. These could include:

  • being distracted at work;
  • having low morale;
  • refusing to talk generally about money;
  • unexpected absences;
  • not participating in social activities;
  • working a large amount of paid overtime; and
  • spending time dealing with personal finances while at work.

Educating managers within your organisation can help to empower them to spot the early signs of mental or financial ill health amongst their team. Afterall, prevention is often better than cure.

Look at your business figures 

Take a closer look at your business figures. Have your employees been off sick for an increased period of time? Is the productivity of your staff causing targets to not be met? Are you losing your best talent because they are swayed by a slightly higher salary elsewhere? With employee financial pressures on the increase, it is likely you may experience some form of negative impact on your bottom line, but offering support to your employees could help to counteract this.  Checking your figures for any of these trends can sometimes lead you back to the wellbeing of your employees and financial wellbeing is no exception.

Survey your employees

Another way to find out if your employees are suffering with poor financial wellbeing, is to ask them. Now most people probably wouldn’t react well to you asking them outright, so an anonymous survey can help you gain the information you need to provide support to your employees who need it most. However, when asking your employees to take part in any survey, how you communicate it is as important as the survey itself. Remember this issue is sensitive and having the right comms going out, to the right people is key to a successful survey and a higher completion rate.

Your employees can make or break your business and with them being at the heart of everything you do, it’s important they are happy and healthy both physically and mentally.

Secondsight offer a variety of tools and resources around financial wellbeing including a Financial Wellbeing Assessment. This assessment will you help strategically pinpoint the areas of financial stress within your workplace and will provide you as an employer with a corporate score and your employees with a tailored financial wellbeing report.

Find out more about our assessment or any of our wellbeing initiatives, by completing the form below. 

  1. https://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2018/10/mental-health-at-work-2018-report
  2. https://www.second-sight.com/blog/main-cause-stress-outside-workplace/

Information correct as of Thursday 12th September 2019

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