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Employers unaware staff money worries are damaging performance

28/08/2018

Money worries among employees are impacting work behaviours and potentially damaging business performance, according to new research from Neyber.

But a communication disconnect has left many employers unaware that there’s even a problem.

According to the research, 30% of the 10,000 UK employees surveyed cited financial worries as their biggest concern, and 35% have felt stressed because of it.

Other top worries for employees included health (25%) and retirement provision (24%).


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Financial worries were top of the mind for all age groups – until the age of 55, when they worried more about later life. A salary of at least £40,000 was when financial worries were no longer the biggest worry.

Worryingly, it was revealed that the strain of these money worries resulted in 33% feeling anxious, 26% losing sleep and one in five feeling depressed.

Both employers and employees are aware that these issues impact work behaviour, with 45% of employees and 69% of employers citing that financial pressure impacts job performance.

Three in five employees said that money worries change their behaviour.

The impact this has on business performance was quantified in a separate study from the Financial Advice Working Group, which found that financial stress costs the UK economy £121 billion and 18 million working hours in lost productivity each year.

Employers unaware

However, when the 580 employers were questioned a stark disconnect was found between them and their staff.

Employers believe that work-life balance is their employees’ biggest worry (44%), followed by workload (33%), which represents a huge contrast to the financial concerns that employees are actually plagued by.

This disconnect clearly runs deeper too, with only 50% of employees feeling like their firm cares about their financial health.

This is less than those who think their employer cares about their later life and retirement provision (66%), mental health (62%) or physical health (60%).

Jonathan Hollow, head of financial capability, strategy and innovation at the Money Advice Service, warned firms that when their workplace suffers, their business can suffer too.

He said: “Every employer should care about the findings in this report. A growing body of evidence shows that anxiety about finances leads to poor mental, physical and social wellbeing, and this affects attendance and performance at work.”

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