Financial news reporting often relates to the economic challenges faced by the biggest institutions – countries, governments and multinational brands. We’re very used to how headlines appear in this sector: “Economy to shrink by £30billion” screams one; “Trade deal to boost GDP by two per cent” shouts another; or, “Leading tech firm issues profit warning,” as an alternate example. They make it hard to imagine that financial news can take the form of anything other than macro-scale events involving numbers suffixed by many, many zeroes.
Yet, every single person has their own financial news reel to deal with. The rising price of groceries might cut the spending power of someone by four per cent. A change of job for another might mean they can add to their savings. Similarly, becoming unemployed or being made redundant will surely cut into an individual’s emergency funds – that’s if they even have any.
Truthfully, every time you buy lunch, get paid, purchase a travel ticket or put petrol in your car, you are engaging in an action which, however small, has real financial consequence. Whilst this might not be considered newsworthy – at least not in a traditional sense – each has a tangible impact on an individual’s reserves, spending-power, ability to engage in day-to-day tasks and even their health, stability and identity.
Which is why consideration of financial wellbeing is so crucial. On the current economic landscape, where uncertainty and insecurity are rife, the majority of employees are only just getting by. Couple this with seemingly constant news about pensions shortfalls and data which shows that rising numbers of people have savings that would last less than a month, it’s not surprising that personal finances are taking up more brain space, sparking stress and exacerbating mental health problems.
The newest research too shows that financial wellbeing is now the top employee concern. Unfortunately, there is a disconnect between how employees and employers approach this – with many of the latter group just not believing their staff are that worried. There are many reasons for this: communication can be difficult, with the contentious subjects of politics and religion more preferable conversation topics; it’s also less sensitive to offer advice and benefits in other areas; as well as other legacy issues.
This is why Neyber’s newest publication The DNA of Financial Wellbeing: The Bigger Picture is so prescient. Aware of the difficulties, and reluctances, to speak transparently, honestly and learnedly on this subject – let alone offer help – Neyber thread together their research in this area in an easy-to-follow narrative. They clearly demarcate the facts and the issues; as well solutions that work for both individuals and businesses – giving employers the confidence to be proactive, practical and erudite on the issue of financial wellbeing.