Should Employers do more for their employees? The Australian Defence Force thinks so!
We spend 30-50 hours every week of our lives at our jobs. Our employers provide us with all our income every year and pay our superannuation every month. They provide this generally without any real support and we are left to our own devices.
We go through school without any real education around how to manage money, what are good investments, how can we protect our families, what do we need to stay away from. Unfortunately only 1 in 5, Australians get financial advice because they either do not know where to go to, do not trust the advice they will receive, believe that their situation is not suitable or they believe they cannot afford it.
So my questions is- should employers do more for their staff in the role of helping them manage their finances when they know the issues we are faced with?
It is believed that Money is the leader in stress in families across the world. Depending on what report you read, Money stress is more stressful than the work itself while family and health issues come up from time to time. More employees are stressed about money than anything else.
So what are the impacts for the workforce if the majority of employees are stressed about money? Does this stress have a positive or negative impact on their work performance? Some reports say over 50% of employees believe it does.
So to answer my question, I definitely so and to back my story so does Australian Defence force. http://adfconsumer.gov.au/
The ADF is the leading example for what an employer can do for it’s members. They have checklists, videos, guides, calculators, articles, case studies, latest news, seminars, e-learning, a tv station and even a mobile application. When I found out what they do for their staff, I was blown away. They go above and beyond what I have heard any employer do. They know that their staff need this, they need advice around managing their finances and they do all they can to make sure it is good advice.
Once I found out about their adviser referral program, I instantly wanted to help their members. I was also happy to hear that they are not just referring to any financial planner. They wanted to refer to the best financial planners for their members and to do so they have what most Advisers would consider very strict rules to join the Referral Program. Fortunately, Canopy Private, tick all theses boxes and do not take any conflicted remuneration whatsoever. I believe by removing all conflicts and the advice has basis to begin great advice. While conflicts exist it can be clouded. I am proudly part of under 30 advisers in the referral program.
An article is here from Professional Planner which explains more.http://www.professionalplanner.com.au/featured-posts/2015/01/12/australian-defence-force-wades-into-the-financial-planning-debate-33480/
On a personally level, one of my larger clients is company with over 300 staff. I do this work alongside my private clients. I regularly meet with any staff member who would like a chat about anything small or large. Every month, I write an email including three articles I feel would help improve their financial knowledge. I have met with over 100 of their staff and helped many of them sort out the basics, all the way through to detailed retirement planning. One by one they get in contact to discuss something over time and I’m a trusted source if they need to a chat.
The firm does this for two reasons, 1) to help their staff make better decisions through independent advice and 2) Help to relieve some financial stress they may be feeling which in turns leads to better results for their staff.
I believe employers should do more in this space with a dedicated Financial Planning contact. This contact is not to sell to their staff but to help their staff with independent advice.
With low financial literacy and poor education through schooling, we are left to our resources when managing our finances. Unfortunately, our money beliefs start from a very young age and unless identified, managed and changed they can stay with us for life