COVID-19 has brought uncertainty in many aspects of life. Perhaps one of the most prominent is in the financial sector. With the stock market down and a high unemployment rate due to layoffs and furloughs caused by the virus, many people have found their personal financial landscapes to be changed drastically in a very short amount of time. Some of those affected may be your employees. Whether it is due to a spousal layoff, a decrease in investment funds, or fewer hours at work, your staff may be struggling with how to proceed in managing their finances. As a leader, there are steps that you can take to educate and guide them through these uncertain times.
Inform Employees About Existing Financial Wellness Programs
According to CPA Practice Advisor, 74% of workers surveyed in a recent study said that a financial wellness program was an important benefit to them, but over 40% of those respondents felt inadequately informed about the initiatives their company offered. Sending out a company-wide e-mail or hosting a virtual meeting to go over the benefits of any programs you already offer is a good way to help your employees take full advantage of their benefits.
Share Online Financial Resources with Your Team
Encouraging your staff to take an online financial wellness assessment is a great place to start. Another great tool that you can provide (often free of cost) is a budget calculator to help them visualize their current financial state. Encourage them to ask themselves questions about their debt-to-income ratio, their investment options, and their needs for things like life insurance policies.
Provide Professional Financial Counselling
If you have the resources to do so, offering professional financial counseling can be one of the best opportunities to help your employees through uncertain times. A financial planning expert can help your team navigate the changing economy and make decisions around budget planning, debt payoff, childcare costs, job loss, and creating an emergency fund. Between use of a budget calculator and access to a professional counsellor, your team may begin to see savings opportunities where they previously thought there were none.
Benefits to You as an Employer
Providing tools for financial literacy is a great way to help serve the community that works hard to bring your company growth and success. In doing so, you also arm them with important money skills that may benefit their work in your establishment. In addition, lowered stress and anxiety levels helps your team stay focused on work rather than preoccupied with worry over the current situation. This kind of assistance also creates increased loyalty to your business and promotes employee retention, since your staff know that they will be well taken care of even in uncertain times.