Financial Wellbeing At Work: Research Reveals Impact Of Pandemic & Top Incentive For Younger Employees

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on many UK adults’ financial security. Meanwhile, younger workers have expressed a preference for financial bonuses over many other incentives. This means that for employers there is a huge opportunity, and need, to address financial wellbeing at work.

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[Related reading: Income Protection For Small Businesses]

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The Impact Of The Pandemic On Financial Wellbeing

New research has revealed the precarious state of many people’s financial security, with around 25% of UK adults saying they don’t have any. According to Cigna Europe, one in four people in the UK would have zero financial security if they found themselves unable to work due to illness or injury.

The Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey canvassed responses from more than 1,000 people, highlighting the level of impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on financial wellbeing.

As well as outlining the need for greater income protection take-up with nearly two in five (39%) respondents saying they would lack financial security if they were unable to work due to illness or injury, it also revealed that just under a third (29%) have been unable to maintain their standard of living as a result of the pandemic. More worrying is the fact that a quarter (24%) of respondents said they have been unable to pay their mortgage or housing costs.

However, it seems people are actively looking for help, and young people in particular, with 45% of millennials seeking financial coaching from their employer. That said, only 15% of employers currently offer it.

Arjan Toor, chief executive of Cigna Europe, commented: "The pandemic has significantly impacted household finances, and will do for years to come, and it's important that employers recognise the effect this type of stressor can have on a person's whole health. If an employee is feeling financial pressure, it will ultimately impact their physical and mental health, and lead to more chronic conditions.”

Financial Bonuses Are Top Incentive For Younger Individuals

With just 15% of employers actively offering financial coaching, there is an opportunity for companies to step up and give employees what they want. And often what younger workers want is financial bonuses.

Indeed, according to a new survey from rewards and incentivisation platform BeeLiked, financial bonuses are the most desired incentive and reward in the workplace for younger people.

The survey of under 30s found that after financial bonuses, the next biggest incentives for younger employees were increased paid leave allowance, additional ‘early finish’ days, wellness-related packages, company dinners and social events. Vouchers or gift cards of choice for food, complimentary lunch or dinner, vouchers or gift cards for experiences (events or classes), gym or fitness membership, and vouchers or gift cards of choice for drinks were also cited as being desirable for workers under 30.

For employers, these revelations provide excellent insight into what drives younger employees. Given the fact that the younger generation now makes up a larger proportion of the workforce, attracting and retaining the best young talent is crucial for companies.

With many young people eager to get onto the property ladder, financial bonuses and incentives should definitely not be overlooked by employers. 

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[Related reading: Why Firms Need To Focus On Employee Financial Wellbeing]

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Are you offering the same benefits to your employees across the board, regardless of age? If you are, you could be missing a trick when it comes to providing what your employees actually want - financial wellbeing at work - particularly the younger ones.

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Author: Stephen Hough - Managing Director