Neyber, the financial wellbeing company, is calling on employers and Employee Assistance Providers (EAPs) to make a simple process change that would benefit employees and business: record when employees make contact about financial stress
Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are offered by many employers to help employees deal with any personal issues that may inadvertently impact on their health, wellbeing and performance at work. The service usually includes an assessment, short-term counselling and referral services for employees and immediate family members.
Neyber are proposing employers ask their EAP providers to track employee financial stress calls in the initial assessment period.
Monica Kalia, Co-Founder of Neyber, explains “Currently EAPs track when an employee is depressed or anxious, but the employers can’t tell if it’s for financial reasons. Yet making this adjustment gives employers three things: they can far better understand employee issues with better data, then they can fine-tune the wellbeing support they provide and then ultimately understand how well their strategy is working”.
Financial stress may be the root for most employee’s mental health issues and resolving any financial hardships would alleviate that stress. According to a nationwide study of 10,000 UK workers and 500 employers, ‘The DNA of Financial Wellbeing 2017’, almost half (48%) of workers are borrowing money to meet their basic financial needs. On top of this, 54% of employers say the effect of poor financial wellbeing impacts employee behaviour and 56% say it impacts job performance.
Sally Purbrick, Reward Director of Anglian Water, agrees that EAPs need to broaden the categories to define financially related stress stating: “At Anglian Water, we have had a hardship loan scheme in place for some time. We’d recognised that we were getting a number of stress-related calls, so we worked with our EAP to broaden out the categories to define financially related separately.”
“Now, our colleagues can go through Neyber to get an affordable loan, and we still also have a hardship fund. But if they are declined, individuals are reminded that they can go to our EAP for assistance. Managers and employees now feel supported, and that with our hardship fund, EAP and financial education, that they have an offer in place to get them out of financial stress and worry.”