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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

World Mental Health Day – 66% of business managers uncomfortable talking about money worries

The majority of managers within UK businesses do not feel well equipped or comfortable in helping their staff through the cost-of-living crisis, according to new research from Mintago.

The financial wellbeing platform surveyed 762 managers within UK businesses. Less than half (45%) of businesses in the North West said their business had a clear strategy in place for how they will help staff during the cost-of-living crisis, though this was slightly above the UK average (39%).

Over half (58%) of managers in the North West feel ill-equipped to support staff within their organisation during the cost-of-living crisis, similar to the UK average (57%). Even more (66%) managers feel uncomfortable getting involved in their colleagues’ financial lives.

Just over half (52%) of businesses in the North West see it as employers’ responsibility to support staff during the cost-of-living crisis, which is an improvement on the UK average (46%).

Mintago’s research found that the majority (66%) of managers have noticed that employees have raised more concerns about their finances this year than usual.

Chieu Cao, CEO of Mintago, said: “Our research raises some serious concerns. For one, too few businesses have a plan to support staff during the cost-of-living crisis, with many managers not viewing it as their responsibility to do so. This mindset is worrying. The cost-of-living crisis is not just a consumer issue, it is an employer issue; it is businesses’ responsibility to ensure they have the practices, resources and support structures in place to protect their staff’s financial wellbeing.

“But managers will evidently need help. Money clearly remains a taboo subject in the workplace, with most managers feeling awkward discussing financial concerns with their staff. Similar numbers feel ill-equipped to help, likely lacking in the resources and training required. As such, perhaps managers don’t see it as their responsibility to support their staff because they simply don’t know how to help. Business leaders ought to support managers, giving them the tools – from educational resources through to financial wellbeing platforms – so they in turn can help employees.

“The cost-of-living crisis is not going anywhere any time soon. It’s likely that employees are looking for their employers to do more to support them during this crisis. Indeed, managers can play a major role in easing the pressures and stresses on their teams, but only if they have the right tools in place. Now is the time for any business without a clear strategy to evaluate what more they can do at this challenging time.”

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