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Senior HR disconnected from employee money worries



Only 3% of senior HR professionals worry about money every day, compared to almost a quarter (22%) of UK employees, according to financial wellbeing service Bippit.

Overall, 87% of HR professionals are more confident in managing their money than other employers at 68%.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an HR director is £113,221 per year in the United Kingdom.

Just 2% of all senior HR leaders think most employees worry about money daily.

Chris Kirby, senior manager for payroll transformation at LACE Partners said HR need to improve communication to understand the level of financial hardship staff are experiencing.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “As with most things in HR it is about listening, but to listen there needs to be avenues for employees to have a voice.

“The disconnect is not in caring, or understanding, it’s in communication. Particularly for disconnected workforces, there has to be focus on ensuring the voice of the employee is heard so that the problem HR believes they are solving isn’t driven solely by the issues they face themselves.”

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The study found 29% of UK employees said their employer provides zero financial wellbeing support, but none of the HR directors said the same.

Sam Lathey, CEO of Bippit, said HRDs need to focus on improving signposting and uptake of financial wellbeing initiatives.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “It’s clear from the research that HR professionals are aware of what financial wellbeing support is available, as they typically drive these initiatives, whereas employees appear to have a perception gap. 

“This means organisations need to focus on improving communications and the level of support they provide, so that we can tackle financial stigma throughout our organisations, all the way from grads to C-suite.”

Far more HR professionals have also told their employer about their money worries (83%) compared to other employees (42%). 

Zofia Bajorek, senior research fellow at the Institute of Employment Studies, said HR leaders have a number of financial advantages.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “HR professionals, due to the nature of their role, may certainly feel more comfortable to disclose financial concerns to their line managers, but they will also know where to go for further support, for example an organisational EAP, or Citizens Advice.  

“For some, this disparity in financial concern may not be as a result of their actual pay packet, but their knowledge in who to go to for help, and being more proactive about managing a situation then reactive.”  

Employers can help by providing financial education to staff, according to Martin Parish, co-head of financial Wellbeing at professional services firm Aon.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: ” Firstly, educate employees on the principles of financial planning. It’s important for them to understand, for instance, building an emergency fund, protecting themselves and their families against death or illness, short and medium term savings, being tax efficient, being open to discussing finances, how products work and where to get help.

“Additionally, identify people who can help – perhaps financial first aiders. Ensure managers are aware of support available too so they can pass this information to their teams.

“Finally, provide solutions – perhaps money aggregation tools, ISAs, savings, use of share plan benefits for re-investment, rather than cash for spending. Build on traditional benefits of critical illness, private medical insurance and others.”

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