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5 secrets for a successful financial wellbeing strategy

March 18, 2024

Irish households continue to face cost-of-living struggles and the impact of increased mortgage rates. Inflation has risen to 2.7% (as of January 2024), having previously fallen to 2.3% in Europe overall (as of November 2023) - the lowest level in two and a half years1. The Department of Finance’s secretary general, John Hogan, has already warned that the cumulative effects of 10 interest rate hikes are yet to be fully felt in Ireland.

That’s why every organisation needs a financial wellbeing strategy to help their employees, now more than ever. People continue to struggle with post-pandemic debt and other financial worries, and the resulting stress can have a direct impact on attendance, engagement and performance (absenteeism and presenteeism) at work.

1. Why is an inclusive, long-term strategy so important?

You may already offer financial wellbeing support, by delivering online modules or face-to-face sessions. This can be very useful in the short term. Day-to-day financial hygiene such as tips for saving, debt management techniques, and creating a financial plan are great basic building blocks to help your people on their financial journey. Your support can become more targeted if you consider the age range and specific financial ‘pain points’ of your workforce and deliver modules they will benefit most from.

With this said, you are unlikely to connect with every employee in a single support session, be it launching access to online information or even hosting an informational webinar. People’s resilience to financial wellbeing is likely to fluctuate. An event hosted in Spring is unlikely to impact someone who is suffering from financial anxiety in Autumn. And no matter how much impact or engagement you have with your initial launch, the effects will drop off over time.

2. Build your strategy without assumptions

Almost everyone in your business will have financial stresses or concerns, but knowing exactly who is suffering from financial stresses and at what points during their working lifecycle is impossible. Despite this, you can deduce some of the major trigger points to your people’s financial health, and this is where data can be key.

As a company, you will hold a wealth of data about your employees, which can act as the starting point for creating your strategy. By collecting and evaluating quality data, such as demographics, age, earnings, role, location and gender - you can better understand how your people are responding and adapt your strategy accordingly.

3. Think about what success looks like for your organisation

To assess how well your strategy is performing, you might monitor various outcomes, such as the number of employees who have visited your online hub, how many people attended webinars or engaged with your delivery in another way, or whether there has been a decrease in absenteeism or improved productivity. Perhaps you’re looking to directly and measurably improve profitability. Another great way to measure success could be an employee survey, to understand how people feel about the support you’re offering.

4. Employee engagement – not just a ‘one and done’

Lasting financial wellbeing for your people isn’t a short-term fix. For truly effective, long-term engagement, regular and timely communications are crucial. Periodic monitoring to measure success will keep your financial wellbeing strategy constantly evolving. Your hub or hosting for wellbeing online should grow and stay fresh with up-to-date content, and regular communications should be pushed out to cement it as a familiar space for your people to turn to when they need their benefits most.

Think about how your different workforce demographics want to access information and support. Make everything accessible, visually simple, in plain English, and consider a variety of delivery methods: hard copy, digital, face-to-face sessions and even video. Most importantly, ensure that there is always signposting to trusted solutions where your people can ask questions or access further support. Without this, you have provided information, but not the means to act upon it.

5. Using your financial wellbeing strategy to enhance your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Providing financial wellbeing support to your people is an excellent, but sometimes overlooked, way to show them that they are valued. It can give your company the edge when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. The key is linking the benefits you provide in the employee’s mind to supporting their wellbeing.

Start by looking at the employee benefits you already offer and consider when they were last reviewed to ensure they remain relevant. Using engagement data and employee feedback, assess which benefits or support you need to add and how this marries with your long-term employee benefits strategy.

Remember, the more data you can analyse, the better your understanding of trends and focus points, and crucially, the more you can evolve your strategy to enhance your EVP. It’s useful to understand which sessions are popular, but equally why the attendance for others is lower. From employee feedback, you might be able to see how important these areas are to your people, and whether you can make subsequent changes to the benefits you offer. Are the delivery methods right for your demographics? Are there any groups with low levels of engagement? Are there any steps you can take to improve this? Are there any links between age, role, salary and trends you are seeing?

Regular data reviews and insights, combined with an effective engagement strategy, are essential to creating a robust long-term financial wellness strategy that evolves and stays relevant to your people. The result is a more productive and engaged workforce, improved performance and profitability, and the opportunity to create an EVP that attracts and retains the very best talent.

How NFP can help you deliver your workplace financial wellbeing strategy

To support your organisation’s path to financial workforce empowerment, we help you develop, deliver and embed a financial wellbeing programme into your workplace. Our team of financial wellbeing specialists have developed an approach centred on the three core tenets: strategy, education and outcomes. Based on these tenets, we can help you implement a long-term financial well-being strategy that raises your people’s financial capability, offers accessible solutions and adds real value to your business.


Sinead Cullen QFA CTA, Head of Wealth and Financial Planning

Book a financial wellness chat with me today to discuss how we can help your employees on their financial journeys, and help you retain a workforce that is productive, engaged and happy. I look forward to speaking with you.


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