How to Talk Money With Your Employees 

The importance of talking to your employees about their finances is something that employers are becoming increasingly aware of, but taking the initial steps towards beginning these conversations can often be difficult. The annual Talk Money Week event, which took place in November, also highlighted the urgent need for open conversations about money. So, here we look at why this is essential and some ways to make it easier.

Talk money to boost wellbeing and performance

According to research by Mintago, in 2023, 58% of employees say that money and finances are their leading cause of stress, and 49% say that stress and anxiety harm their performance at work. Similarly, PwC’s 2023 Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that financially stressed employees tend to be more distracted, less engaged and more likely to seek another job. This highlights just how important it is to talk money with your staff, to ease this stress. 

Talking to a manager or employer about concerns regarding paying bills or affording day-to-day essentials can lift a heavy weight from your employees’ shoulders and get the ball rolling on how they can begin to address the problem. 

Operate an open-door policy

It is important to reassure your employees that you are not only available at specific times, but are there to provide support whenever they need it and they can feel comfortable about sharing their financial concerns.

Ensuring that you provide a safe and confidential environment for your employees to talk money with you is vital, as some members of your team are likely to feel embarrassed by their financial situation, and may not want other people in the workplace to hear their problems. By operating an open-door policy, employees are less likely to feel there is a gap between themselves and you, as their employer, and may find you more approachable. Indeed, by letting your team know that they are actually invited to talk money with you, they are less likely to feel that they are burdening you with any problems. 

Be reassuring and practical 

Even if an employee comes to you with a significant financial problem, it is important to be sensitive and rational when listening to them and offering any guidance. Some employees may not need or expect you to offer a solution, but may simply wish to share their worries with an impartial person, to feel less alone. 

Do not scare your employees with worrying facts and figures which may heighten their stress, but be honest and practical about how they move forward.

Mintago research in 2022 found that only two-fifths of UK adults surveyed had spoken to their friends, family or colleagues about their money worries, despite the cost-of-living crisis bringing more serious financial problems for many. It is therefore vital to keep in mind how difficult it may be for your team to share details of their financial situation, and make them feel at ease in your presence. 

Suggest useful educational resources and tools

Often, your employees may want help managing their financial situation but do not know where to find this. By sharing knowledge of educational resources and useful contacts that could be helpful in different situations, you can help your employees take positive steps to tackle their issues head-on. 

With the average total debt per UK household reported to be £65,510 in February 2023, debt is a significant issue your employees may be struggling with. You could therefore consider compiling a directory of useful resources and contacts, such as debt management charities to help. 

If an employee comes to talk money with you, you are then armed with helpful information, and you could also consider providing access to such assistance via a financial wellbeing platform, such as Mintago.  Supplying this to your employees can help to build a trusting relationship and make them more likely to confide in you in future.

Support your team at different life stages

Members of your team may feel more financially stressed during certain times in their lives. For example, purchasing a house, getting married or approaching retirement can cause anxiety and uncertainty. Having discussions with your wider team and individuals about these milestones and how important it is to share the burden is vital in creating an understanding and healthy workplace.

It is a good idea to regularly survey your employees, perhaps anonymously, to better understand what their financial situation is like at that moment and if they are dealing with any key events that can cause financial worries. This will help you tailor company-wide discussions to suit the needs of your team. 

You could also introduce regular team activities, such as financial wellbeing talks by experts, or masterclasses offered via a high-quality financial wellbeing platform, such as Mintago, to help improve your employees’ financial wellbeing. Facilitating frequent financial education sessions can help to keep the conversation going, reminding your employees to take stock of their own situation and talk money with you, whenever they need to. 

Be relatable

People are far more likely to share financial information and any concerns with a relatable employer. By making it clear that you are not immune to financial burdens and have experienced these yourself, you are showing your team that what they may be going through is common and not unsolvable. 

Sharing stories and experiences with your team can help them feel at ease and know that you are approachable and can understand the struggles that they are facing. In conclusion, there are many effective steps that you can take to better support your employee’s financial wellbeing and start a conversation with them about their finances. With the cost-of-living crisis piling on the pressure, and our recent research revealing that 70% of people are worried that their financial situation might deteriorate further, there has never been a more important time to talk money with your team.