Money is often considered a “hygiene” factor in the employee value proposition, it has to be right, but won’t necessarily motivate or retain people. But what about when money is the issue?
When your employees are having personal financial issues this can deeply affect their mental health, relationships and ability to do their job. It has become more and more difficult for employers to offer quality financial advice to their staff, due to legal a regulatory issues. As a result, often HR feels like their hands are tied.
With Career Money Life, you are able to offer your employees a real choice of high quality, vetted, licensed and independent advice in a variety of ways to meet your employees’ needs without the legal and liability issues, as your employees make the choice of supplier. The difference is they are choosing from a pool of quality providers. One of the newest approaches to offering employees financial advice is via an online program, from Life Sherpa, one of the Career Money Life financial suppliers.
This article by Vince Scully, explains how to offer a financial education program for your people.
Legend has it that Saint Patrick, a young English shepherd kidnapped and sent to Ireland, used the shamrock as a tool to explain the mysteries of the Trinity to the pagan Irish in the 4th century. As a communication tool this clearly worked wonders as evidenced by the hold Christianity took on Ireland.
Fast forward 16 centuries and a modern day Patrick would have escaped the clutches of the human traffickers and perhaps grew up to be an HR practitioner tending to a quite different flock. His shamrock would still come in handy though because the best employee wellness programs embrace the trinity of human needs – mind, body and soul.
These programs have come a long way since the 80’s when the primary focus was on the body with health and safety top of mind and using job and workplace design to minimize harm to workers. Where the mind did get any attention it was largely about cure rather than prevention through the early Employee Assistance Programs which provided access to counsellors.
In the 90’s and subsequently, the body got more attention with the growth of health initiatives, gym memberships and even corporate massages. Apart from a little bit of mindfulness activity, and the occasional bible study group, little has been done to focus on the soul of employees.
Corporate culture has a huge impact on both the mind and soul of employees. Silicon Valley leads the way here with companies like Salesforce with its 1% (of equity, time and product) philanthropic pledge and Google with its 20% time allocation to personal projects.
Gen Y seeks to make a difference and they want the companies they work for to do so too. This is not so much about what the company does or the product it makes. Gen Y is quite happy to work in less glamorous or poorly perceived sectors (tobacco or fossil fuels for example) when the culture is right. The Why? and the How? of the way we operate as companies are both far more important.
Hewlett Packard grew from Bill and Dave in a Californian garage to a 325,000 employee monster based largely on the philosophy laid down by the founders known simply as the HP Way. Seventy years after the garage days the company foundered when it focused more on modern management theory and lost sight of the HP Way.
Dov Seidman, in his book, ‘How. Why how we do anything means everything’,puts this in a more modern context when he explains that once employees understand the principles and philosophy of how we do things they will be more engaged and just instinctively behave the right way.
Even more important is the Why? If you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s Ted talk on this, Google it now! It may change your life.
I don’t, however, quite go all the way with Sinek when he says that “it doesn’t matter what you do, it matters why you do it”.
Steven Covey, in the ‘7 habits of Highly Effective People’ said that ‘it is easy to say “no!” when there is a deeper “yes!” burning inside’
What I think all these guys are saying is that when you understand the things that really matter to you and the company you work for and there is a degree of alignment then it becomes instinctive as to what you need to do in any situation and work life balance just happens. This is so much more powerful than a traditional mission statement.
At Life Sherpa (Australia’s first online personal financial advice service), we believe that everyone is entitled to live life free of financial stress. This means that all a team member needs to do is ask themselves ‘Is what I am about to do going to reduce money stress in someone’s life?’ If the answer to that is ‘yes!’, they know they are doing the right thing. If everyone in finance thought this way, rather than focusing on sales first, we would have fewer compliance problems.
This alignment can also go a long way to reducing workplace stress, increasing engagement and the related loss of productivity.
A corporate wellness program than then focus on positively building on nourishing the mind, body and soul of the employee rather than trying to undo the ill effects of poor culture.
Article by Vince Sulley, Life Sherpa
(A certified Career Money Life Supplier)