Financial First Aiders are a new concept in employee wellbeing. In this article, we’ll explain what they are and why you need them in your organisation.
We’ve entered spring with the cost of living crisis still wreaking havoc. Every bill that can go up has gone up.
And people are struggling. Claro Wellbeing’s research shows that financial stress is high. Two-thirds of employees say financial stress affects their work. And they’re spending an average of 3.5 working days a year managing finances while at work.
As a result, more than half (55%) of employees do not think their organisation cares about their financial wellbeing.
In the wake of this, we’ve seen many organisations take a fresh look at their employee benefits and wellbeing strategies, to help retain talent and defend their reputations as employers.
Even then, talking about money is tough. It can feel almost impossible to spot the signs of a struggling employee. Money stress exacts a huge mental burden. But so few of us readily volunteer information about our financial pains. And consequently, so few organisations are in tune with their people's financial stress.
And that’s exactly where Financial First Aiders can be immensely valuable to organisations.
In this article, we’ll explain what Financial First Aiders are and why you need them in your organisation.
What is a Financial First Aider?
A Financial First Aider is someone who champions open conversations about money and facilitates financial wellbeing initiatives in your organisation – while helping make employees feel listened to.
They’re equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to help someone who is experiencing financial issues.
They know how to spot the signs of financial distress and support someone in this situation.
Anyone in an organisation can become a Financial First Aider, just as anyone can become a Mental Health First Aider or health and injury-related first aider.
How is a Financial First Aider different to a financial coach or financial adviser?
Different to a financial coach or adviser, a financial first aider is someone who can
- Listen to you and hear about your personal finances
- Help with your feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed
- Help you identify the next steps (and resources) available to you
- Help you filter out the noise and provide trustworthy and relevant information
They steer their colleagues in the right direction – towards the resources they need, either within the organisation or credible external experts.
What are the benefits of having Financial First Aiders in your organisation?
Financial First Aiders can boost financial literacy within your organisation, help reduce stress and increase productivity.
They do this by helping to champion your existing financial wellbeing strategy. (But you don’t have to have a financial wellbeing strategy in place to have Financial First Aiders.)
Financial First Aiders act as the feedback loop of your financial wellbeing programme and activities, so that you can continually improve your strategy.
For instance, having Financial First Aiders in your team could help surface essential insights that enable you to get maximum value out of a financial wellbeing programme: you might discover your team would benefit more from budgeting tools and less from financial coaching, or vice versa.
They can also help define common financial problems that the team is having, and suggest topics for possible webinars, workshops or learning days.
With Financial First Aiders helping your team get the most value out of your financial wellbeing strategy, you’ll also likely see an uptake in your existing benefits – for example, education-focused financial wellbeing programmes can help you increase enrolment in your pensions offering.
What are the key skills of a Financial First Aider?
When an individual becomes a Financial First Aider, they gain the skills required to have meaningful conversations with their colleagues about their finances.
They are able to demonstrate the communication skills required to hold Financial First Aid conversations, recognise when colleagues may be experiencing money worries and have the confidence to approach and encourage them to access reliable information in order to obtain expert help and support.
Become a Financial First Aider
Enrol interested employees on our two-day training course and become an organisation tuned in to its people's financial stress.
Discover your training