This year has been a particularly hard one for businesses and their employees. From new ways of working to pay cuts, it can all have a big impact on the mental and financial wellbeing your employees.

And with many already facing financial challenges, Christmas can add a huge amount of unnecessary pressure. As an employer, it’s essential to remind employees of the importance of keeping financial stress to a minimum. To help, here are our 4 top tips to help employees reduce their financial stress.

1) Create a Christmas budget

We’ve all been there, in January, staring at our bank balance and not believing how we managed to spend that much! Creating a Christmas budget is a must to avoid the aftershock of the festive season. Encourage employees to first start with how much they can afford to spend entirely throughout the whole month. Then, they can write down everything they have to buy from presents, food, cards and even petrol costs. Make sure they don’t leave anything out, as it’s usually the little and non-obvious things that tips spending the wrong way. And finally, but probably most important, it’s vital to stick to the budget.

2) Set expectations

No matter what time of year it is, employees can find talking about money with family and friends hard. But what’s even harder, is paying the price in January from buying gifts they simply couldn’t afford. Setting real expectations for family and friends, is a great way to start. Stipulate a budget for presents which the whole family should stick to or try to arrange a honest family discussion on what everyone can cut back on this year. Christmas can be tough financially but with this year being particularly challenging for most of us, this conversation may be a relief for many.

3) Discount vouchers and offers

Shopping over the festive period can be stressful enough, especially now with the current guidelines and restrictions. But once the budget is set and Christmas lists are written, encouraging employees to get online and see what vouchers and offers are about, could be hugely beneficial. And, if you’re an organisation who offers your employees a discount portal as part of their benefits package, make sure you promote it now. Many employees don’t think about checking discount portals and simply don’t know what savings they could potentially make. Gentle reminders of exclusive deals and offers could help them make big savings in the long run.

4) Always think twice about turning to debt

After such a tough year for many, Christmas may seem like a good time to go big or have a blowout. And when the purse strings are tight, putting those extravagant gifts on credit cards or payday loans can seem tempting. But it’s vital that employees remember that they’ll have to pick up the pieces in January. And unless they are confident that they can pay everything off in full, they could fall victim to high interest fees, giving them a bad financial start to the year.

Financial education can really help employees make better financial decisions. Understanding the consequences of getting into debt over the festive period could make a big difference to the start of someone’s year. After all, we all want our employees to start 2021 free of financial worries. Educating employees on financial wellbeing and reducing their financial stress is important during the festive season but also all year round. Financial issues don’t go away once the Christmas tree is packed up, so make sure your employees have the financial support they need throughout the year.

To find out more about workplace financial education click here. Or, if you would like to find out how Secondsight could support the wellbeing of your employees, contact us today.

Secondsight is a trading name of Foster Denovo Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Information correct as of 09/12/2020