Employees who are financially stable tend to perform better than their counterparts at work. They are also generally more engaged and are much more willing to put in extra effort. It therefore follows that employers should invest in the financial well being of their employees.
The following initiatives can be implemented to improve the financial well being of employees in an organization. Of course the extent of implementation will depend on the resources available.
- Fair wages. Employers should strive to pay a fair wage to attract and retain competitive employees. Talent generally flows to the highest bidder.
- Performance bonuses. A bonus scheme based on performance is a win win situation for both employer and employee.
- Training. Training enables an employee to perform better on the job. It also allows them to grow in their careers.
- Growth opportunities. People want to grow. Provide growth opportunities for employees by delegating and providing more diverse assignments. As employees grow their earning potential also increases.
- Development loans. If possible provide loan facilities at reduced interest rates. This will improve employee retention.
- Salary advances. In times of distress provide salary advances to staff.
- Medical insurance. Provide some kind of medical insurance. It could be as simple as subscribing to a local clinic to treat staff.
- Financial education. Expose your employees to financial education. Invite some good speakers to talk to staff on matters of financial literacy and well being. Engage competent people to provide financial counselling and coaching services to those employees who might need them.
- Provident funds. Set up a provident fund at work to help employees prepare for retirement.
- Gratuity/retirement schemes. Some employers who can afford should pay a gratuity to employees.
- Share options. For some business it is possible to offer some kind of share ownership in the business. This will be based on performance and loyalty with the business. Employees who have a stake in the business tend to be more committed.
- Merit promotions. Put in place structures to promote staff based on merit. Each promotion should be matched with a salary increment.
- Benefits in kind. Provide where possible lunch, airtime, transport allowances, Christmas package, etc. These simple things can really improve morale of staff.
- SACCOs. Encourage staff to form SACCOs and investment clubs at work. This will encourage the savings habit.
- Encourage entrepreneurship. Encourage your staff to start side ventures. As an employer you can never fully provide for the financial needs of your staff. However you can encourage them to start side hustles. The experience they gain on these projects will actually help you as an employer.
- Negotiated salary loans. Help staff acquire financing from banks at negotiated rates. Several companies are doing this for their employees. This should be coupled with proper financial counselling so they don’t misuse the loans.
- NSSF. Register and save for retirement with NSSF. This is actually a legal requirement and compliance is the best option.