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Why should your company offer financial wellness programs in Dubai?

Today, more and more people are struggling with their finances. Financial struggles could come from uncontrolled financial debt, demanding financial commitments, or a limited ability to save for the future.

For an employer, it is important to bear in mind that employees under severe financial strain are far more likely to have low morale, reduced productivity, and an increase in absenteeism – all of which is bad news for businesses of any size and operation.

Therefore, it is essential to provide benefits that not only ensure employees are healthy in body and mind but financially too.

In today’s article by Pacific Prime Dubai, we will take a look at financial stress, check out some of the financial benefits available, and mention the importance of considering private medical insurance in the UAE.

Financial stress

Financial stress can cause persistent negative thoughts, feelings of fear, and changes in your behavior.

According to a survey by Willis Towers Watson on 2017 Middle East benefits trends, 61% of employees in the region identified stress as the top issue in the workplace. Around half of all the employees worried that they would not be able to afford to retire, and this very anxiety has an impact on their personal wellbeing.

Employees’ financial problems become your problems

Employees are the main assets for any employer, and if employees experience financial problems outside of work then this will be a problem for their employer.

There is a strong correlation between employees worrying about their finances and being absent from work often or lacking the concentration to work when they are present.

What is worse still for employers is that the longer they are in this chronic period, the more likely they are to suffer from health issues as mentioned below.

Outcomes of financial stress for employees

  • Absenteeism: Employees that are financially stressed use more sick leave and are absent from work more often.
  • Presenteeism: Employees are physically at work but because they are experiencing financial stress, they cannot focus on their tasks and responsibilities. Resulting in lower productivity and poor efficiency by the employee. They may also commit time during work to resolve their financial matters, which means they are not fully focused.
  • Work conflicts: Poor performance, lateness, and incomplete work tasks can often occur due to personal financial pressures
  • Health problems: Health concerns for employees may arise due to their stressful lifestyle. They may be more irritable due to sleeplessness, as well as experience fatigue and mood swings. This may result in mental health problems such as depression.

Millennials in the workplace

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are those born between 1981 and 1997, and makeup roughly 36 percent of the UAE population. They tend to be more careful about their spending and liabilities, and it is quite understandable why.

Millennials are likely to be at the stage in their lives where they are planning on marrying, starting a family, or buying a home. So this means they will be under pressure to support both themselves and their family members financially.

Employees may also experience work stress, which can further exacerbate their situation. What is interesting to note is that employers and insurance companies may be able to offer many ways to support mental health. This was covered in our previous article on mental wellness here.

Today, the workforce mainly consists of millennials who are having more and more of an impact in the workplace. The sheer size of the workforce comprising of millennials in the UAE means they have the power to exert pressure on the workplace to provide options that they find attractive, especially for financial wellbeing.

Employers are listening and are utilizing multiple ways to give their employees what they need and deserve in order to perform at their optimum.

An approach that employers could use is to view the situation from a holistic perspective.

Holistic approach

When used in a workplace context, a holistic approach means thinking about the bigger picture and evaluating all aspects regarding conditions and wellbeing at work. Assessing employees’ psychological, emotional, and physical wellbeing at work helps to tackle problems experienced by your staff.

Employees can nurture their employee’s financial wellness by investing in financial wellbeing programs. These programs help to alleviate their monetary worries and makes good commercial sense for employers.

Financial Wellness Programs

By providing information, guidance, and training that will help employees become financially astute, employees develop better peace of mind about their financial future and at the same time reduce their stress levels. These programs and resources can be utilized to develop new monetary habits that are healthy, long-lasting, and effective for all employees.

Employers should consider creating a culture that establishes financial independence for employees through courses and workshops, but also, to focus on the following 3 aspects of designing a targeted financial wellness program:

  • Making improvements

    If employers can negotiate for deals that are better by even a little, say with the company’s insurance pension providers, then it would increase their morale and entice them to stay longer.

  • More protection

    Although living standards for workers may be higher, they are not immune to high living costs. Additionally, some if not, most have families that they have to care for and support – especially the elderly. Their priority may be to have protection in the event, that as the main income holder if they succumb to an illness or death, the bills, mortgage, and living expenses for their spouse and children are covered.

  • Retirement security

    This applies more so to expatriates living and working in the UAE, as local nationals receive a state pension.

Benefits of having a financial wellness program in Dubai

Employers should invest in having a financial wellness program for the following reasons:

  • Improved employee productivity

To reduce distractions and improve productivity, the program offered by the employer could be made to offer student loan repayment assistance, basic banking services, debt reduction plans, or even home ownership support. These are some helpful ways that employers can include in their financial wellness program and may significantly boost their productivity.

  • Reduced employee stress and improved health

Ultimately, financial wellness programs help by tackling chronic stress in employees. With less worry about their finances, employees can concentrate fully on their work and produce greater results.

  • Increased employee satisfaction

With financial tools, help, and guidance to alleviate personal financial problems, employees at work will feel greater personal and professional satisfaction at work. The program can also help them set and achieve financial goals for themselves and their family – e.g.example, saving for a family holiday or contributing to an investment plan. With financial stability and awareness, employees are likely to exhibit greater engagement at work.

  • Employee longevity and retention

Employees tend to stay longer and remain committed at work owing to the financial support they receive via home ownership plans, for example. With the employer’s support, they are able to remain active and productive at work.

  • Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism

Debt management, budget counseling, and bank account education can help minimize absences due to employees taking time off to manage their financial issues. Employees can have peace of mind from knowing that they are able to manage their finances without having to be away. Sick leave and presenteeism are likely to be reduced or eliminated altogether.

Considering medical insurance for your health?

At Pacific Prime Dubai, we recognize the importance of protecting you and your family by providing coverage for healthcare.

A number of major health insurance companies in Dubai and other Emirates in the UAE provide medical insurance plans that can include cover for individuals with mental health problems.

With personal financial stress and the added pressure from work, individuals are likely to suffer from short to long term mental health problems that may lead to adverse diseases like stroke.

Based in Dubai, our expert consultants are available to provide free, impartial advice.

Contact us here for a free quote.

Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Jimmy is a content writer who helps simplify insurance for readers interested in international private medical insurance. He is on a mission in Thailand to support locals, expatriates, and businesses by bring the latest news and updates to his Pacific Prime blog articles.

His expert view and wealth of knowledge on insurance can also be found in his blogs for China, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
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