Employees reveal what support they need during Covid-19

A recent survey of UK workers by Salary Finance shows how they are feeling and what help they need from their employer while the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing

Salary Finance recently surveyed more than 2,500 UK employees to find out what they were feeling and just as importantly, what they need from their employer during Covid-19. The results paint a stark picture of how many of us are feeling. Here's what it revealed:

69 per cent of employees are worried about their financial situation

Our Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing 2019-20 revealed that employees are more stressed about their finances than careers, health and relationships. The research also confirmed the UK’s savings crisis – 19 per cent of UK employees save nothing each month, and 20 per cent only save up to £50. With so many of us not having any money to fall back on, it’s not surprising that many UK employees are feeling anxious about their financial situation. 

We’re facing a period of great economic instability and many employees are vulnerable to developing poor financial wellbeing by not being able to keep up with bills and being forced into taking on high-interest debt.

The Resolution Foundation estimates that 7-10 million UK employees will be furloughed under the government’s job retention scheme. 50 per cent of all UK companies are currently putting staff onto the scheme. For some, this won’t impact their financial wellbeing too much, but for others, it could have a detrimental effect if they don’t have existing savings or had existing debt. Some households will face more of a reduction in pay in both earners in one household have been furloughed. Many employees will also be grappling with the uncertainty of redundancy for themselves and their family.

What do employees want help with?

Our survey revealed the top three things employees would like support from their employer with:

  • Struggling with borrowing or bills (49 per cent)
  • Loss in household income (47 per cent)
  • How to reduce spending and make money go further (24 per cent)

Employers shouldn’t be expected to be experts in financial wellbeing, but they need to be able to offer helpful advice, support and products and services that can help with employees’ financial needs. Consider providing content and support related to reviewing budgeting, cutting costs and managing debt. 

Over half of employees want more communications around Covid-19

59 per cent of UK employees feel they’re either not getting any information from their employer or that they would like more. Only 1 per cent of employees felt they were getting too much information from their employer. So how can employers communicate effectively?

It can be hard to know what to say during this time when there is so much uncertainty. Even if you cannot answer all employee questions, it’s important to explain why and give clarification on if and when they will be able to be answered.  Communications could be anything from delivering messages that offer reassurance and opportunities for connection, to directing people to where they get advice and information if they’re struggling with their wellbeing. Five things to consider are:

  • A simple way to find out how your employees are feeling is to embed specific Covid-19 related wellbeing questions into your existing employee surveys.
  • Ensure your wellbeing offering is in one place and easy for employees to find. 
  • Send regular and relevant updates for your CEO and senior leadership team. Why not introduce different formats and styles such as a video message rather than a written email?
  • Create employee-led content by asking them to create tips and advice on what they’re doing to improve their wellbeing during this time and share these across the organisation.
  • Leverage existing networks and communities that can heighten your messages and get people connecting with each other.

Resources to help your employees during Covid-19

Our head of financial education, Jason Butler has put together 10 financial tips to share with your employees. You can find them here.