High-quality talent has become increasingly hard to come by in finance, and CFOs should be aware of how employees' personal finances are impacting their productivity.
Leadership is increasingly mindful of creating an attractive work environment with benefits, including mental health offerings and employee well-being efforts. And some organizations now offer programs and tools to set their teams up for personal financial success.
According to new data from Mercer, these types of offerings may not only be a way to ensure employee productivity levels, but to also retain their talent more effectively.
Findings in Mercer’s report, which surveyed just over 4,500 employees of companies with 250 employees or more, suggest this leadership strategy has merit. According to the results, “more than half of employees across all pay levels report reducing their discretionary spending (51%), and another 37% report they have reduced savings or tapped into their current savings due to continued high inflation.”
Expanding Benefits to Improve Employee Finances
According to the report, a majority of employees have access to things like discount programs, money management rolls, and learning about investment strategies opportunities.
Employees who have yet to use some of the benefits offered to improve mental health may get better use out of these financial tools as they tend to treat the roots of the problem, not the symptoms. Financial literacy, an idea that is now being introduced into school curriculums across the U.S., appears to be equally important for professionals, too.
Companies have also looked into combating the costs associated with medical expenses for their employees. Survey results show nearly 39% of companies seek to remove financial barriers to healthcare by offering medical plans with no or low deductibles.
However, few are directly injecting cash into the problem. Only 6% of respondents said their companies provide cash to pay for healthcare for even the organization's lowest earners.
Mental Health Support Outside of Benefits
Employees who are stressed about finances may need not just guidance on how to address their issues, need time away from work to get things situated. According to a third of respondents, providing more time off was the most favorable way for their employers to support their mental health.
Despite their concerns around personal finances, few employees (8%) said enhanced financial support from their employer would be in their top three actions an organization could take to support them. Employee choices included a reduced workload, more resources, and flexibility in how and where work gets done.
In-Person Employees Most Satisfied
Although a majority of employees told Mercer they’d prefer some type of hybrid work schedule, data also shows employees who feel the most engaged and satisfied with their work are spending more time in the office with their coworkers.
Although employees desire flexibility, data shows in-person interactions in the workplace are still highly valued. Over eight in 10 (81%) of hybrid employees feel a sense of belonging, while over three quarters would recommend their companies as a good place to work and feel motivated to go above and beyond (78% and 77%, respectively).
Employees were much less likely to prefer an on-site work environment without hybrid options however, only 11% said they would choose this style, showcasing the value hybrid work brings to employees seeking work-life balance and flexibility.