Financial wellness for staff and businesses: they’re one and the same

The days of working 9-5, five days a week and leaving all thoughts of work at the office once you’ve clocked off are over. This is especially so in Australia’s resources sector.

The industry is characterised by its challenging, albeit financially rewarding working conditions; with many workers away from their families for extended periods of time, and often performing physically challenging work in remote areas.

Employers have come a long way in addressing the health and wellbeing of their workers, but wellbeing is about so much more than one’s physical welfare. Financial challenges are the leading cause of stress amongst Australians, and in 2014, 44 percent of employers reported an increase in stress- or anxiety-related absence in the past 12 months.

It goes without saying then, that businesses in the resources sector would do well to address the financial wellness of their staff. Like all industries, mining and resources in Australia is reliant on the productivity of its employees, and stressed or anxious employees can be unproductive or at the very least, less productive than they could or should be.

Australian businesses are out of pocket by an astonishing $10 billion per annum in lost productivity and absenteeism alone. Stress claims are also the most expensive form of workers compensation, therefore, addressing the wellness of your staff will reflect well on your business’ bottom-line. In fact, the Australian government states that the return on investment for personal wellbeing programs is five dollars for every one dollar invested.

Be an employer of choice
It’s a sad fact that only 10 percent of employees believe their employer is interested in their own financial wellbeing. What makes this even more concerning is that males under 35 years of age who work in blue collar jobs are the least likely to be monitoring their household and personal finances. The good news is, however, that this demographic is also most likely to seek financial education. This presents a significant opportunity for employers in the resources sector to not only boost morale within their business by making the financial wellness of its staff a priority, but to also improve their productivity, and therefore the business’ profitability.

With income security considered to be one of the most powerful determinants of personal wellness, employers in Australia’s resources sector must do what they can to ensure their staff are effectively managing their personal finances – including their superannuation – therefore ensuring that employees’ problems don’t become their own.

To read more about managing your employees’ financial wellness, click here

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