How Pandemic Has Helped Employees Manage Their Financial Health

Financial Wellness


2 August 2021

How Pandemic Has Helped Employees Manage Their Financial Health

COVID19 may have put a strain on employees’ finances, but it has certainly helped in several other ways. Everyone has learnt a lot – from the importance of being present with family and supporting them in times of need to become more financially savvy. Professionals worldwide were tested by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing them to reconsider their financial strategy. Every employee’s top priority was minimizing the pandemic’s impact on personal income. How did they fare? What was the experience like? Let’s find out.

The Great Covid-19 Impact 

The economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic have not been distributed evenly. Many of those with fewer resources have been the least able to defend themselves. The unemployment rate has grown further as a result of the wave of job losses. The pandemic has touched not only those who are unemployed but also those who are working. The pandemic has altered every area of personal finance. And everyone is waking up to the fact. Many people were unable to meet their financial objectives as a result of the crisis. However, by correctly strategizing, the odds of rebounding from those defeats are high.

The catastrophe has also prompted firms to devise new methods of ensuring their employees’ well-being. In short, in 2020, employees’ jobs and relationships with their employers have changed dramatically. Employees’ wants and ambitions have shifted to accommodate the new normal of working from home. 

Family and work-life are intertwined, bringing with them personal and financial concerns. These include matched or unmatched retirement plans, student debt repayment aid, financial counselling access, and other perks. Employers may now use the impact of financial health benefit plans on employees as a valuable employee resource and a compelling retention and hiring tool.

The Acknowledgement

As the coronavirus spread throughout the world, millions of employees lost some or all of their earnings. According to Grant Thornton’s “Human Capital Survey,” around 40% of employees in India saw a compensation cut as a result of COVID-19. The findings also found that almost 45 per cent of respondents had seen no change in overall compensation in the previous year. While 40% of respondents reported a decline in overall compensation, just 16% reported a temporary decrease in fixed pay, according to the survey.

According to new research, as employees face increased financial stress due to the COVID19 outbreak, an increasing number of employers believe it is their job to improve their employees’ financial status. According to the survey, the area of issues covered by workplace financial health plans has also expanded since 2013. Employers are now more likely to handle general financial difficulties in their employees’ lives, typically by providing assistance, counsel, or training in the following areas:

  •  Retirement savings (81% of employers in 2020 provide them, compared to 70% in 2013). 
  •  Plan health care expenses, including medical savings accounts (71% of employers, vs 38%). Budget (63% of employers vs 14%). 
  •  Save college fees (55% of employers, over 13%). 
  •  Debt management. (54% of employers, more than 15%).
Source 

The solution

The pandemic emphasizes the need for benefits that can adapt to changing times and assist employees in better balancing work and life. Even before the pandemic, there was a strong desire for a financial health plan. Before the pandemic, a study of plan sponsors and participants revealed that the financial health plan was making progress.

When questioned about the impact of the financial health plan, 51% of employees indicated they were more interested in the company’s work, 40% said they were more efficient and focused, and 35% said they were under less pressure.

According to the employment report, paying for unexpected obstacles, saving for significant life milestones, and planning for retirement are just a few of the top sources of emotional stress for employees. Employees are increasingly demanding support from their employers and guidance on how to manage their finances and improve their overall financial situation. Employers can enhance their employees’ lives while also enhancing their financial literacy and bringing them closer to achieving their financial objectives by providing a comprehensive financial health benefits plan.

Several ways in which financial health benefits assisted today’s workforce in managing finances throughout the global pandemic are listed below:

  • Remind employees to take advantage of their health insurance:

There is plenty of financial stress to go around—and it can have a severe impact on the health of your staff. Money-related stress has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, headaches, sleep issues, depression, and other health concerns. These diseases can lead to significant, high-cost medical problems, leading to even greater financial anxiety and instability. To get the most advantage, ensure that your employees understand how to keep track of their healthcare spending.

  • Greater employee engagement

According to a recent survey, when asked what generated the most stress in their lives, more employees answered financial concerns than any other life stressor combined. 63 per cent of employees report their financial burden has worsened since the pandemic began. Employers who invest in their employees’ health will find that they are more willing to work with them for extended periods.

  • Prepare employees for unforeseen financial challenges:

According to a 2019 report, 37% of adults could not pay with cash or financial equivalents, while another 13% could not pay in any form. Many employees have encountered financial insecurity and were unprepared for short-term monetary needs even before the COVID19 pandemic.

  • Need to provide educational tools and resources: 

Employers should give their employees educational materials and resources to educate them on emergency funds and urge them to create one. This simple perk aided employees in building better saving habits and planning for unexpected financial difficulties. Employees value this benefit as well.

  • Reduced employee debt pressure:

Many professionals are in debt, whether from school loans, credit cards, mortgages, or auto loans. For qualified companies, providing some assistance with employees’ school debt payments has a considerable impact on their overall financial situation.

One option for assisting workforces here is to provide substantial employee benefits to help them manage their financial lives. Work and money are two familiar sources of stress. A holistic welfare approach can help to improve employee health and make employees feel more valued by their employers.

  • Individual efforts: While employers are responsible for their employees’ well-being, they also must become aware of their challenges and take appropriate. The pandemic has made many realize the true value of financial knowledge. Some things that can be done to live a more carefree life include:
  • Investing
  • Keeping more liquid assets
  • Keeping debt control
  • Enough savings for rainy days

To sum it up

No doubt, employees were confronted with a new challenge as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The consequences have been global, affecting every country and its people. Regardless of the dangers and stress, it is vital to remember that we’re nearing the end of this episode. This last leg requires a shift in priorities, with a focus on financial and risk management.

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