Money worries impacting work performance of two in three retail workers

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More than two in three (65 per cent) UK retail staff say money worries are affecting their work performance.

The findings are from Claro Wellbeing’s Workplace Today report, which explores the true cost of financial stress on the UK’s workforce.

Its research also reveals more than four in 10 (43 per cent) employees in the retail sector have felt stressed or have experienced poor mental health within a six-month period.

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) have endured burnout – a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by work-related stress. 

Amid the cost of living crisis, rising costs and soaring interest rates, 57 per cent of retail staff impacted by financial stress say they are less productive, with 16 per cent taking more sick days and almost a quarter (23 per cent) looking for a higher-paid job at work. 

Some 73 per cent of employees in retail feel negatively about their finances. Almost half (45 per cent) say they are concerned about their money and more than one in 10 (13 per cent) feels stressed.

Around 15 per cent of workers in retail are offered financial wellbeing benefits by their employer, compared to 36 per cent of employees in accounting, banking and finance. This is despite 75 per cent of staff wanting more support with their personal finances from their employer.

More than a third (36 per cent) say they would welcome one-to-one financial coaching provided at work and 37 per cent would be open to using self-learning resources created by experts. 

Stacey Lowman, head of employee wellbeing at Claro Wellbeing, says: “Our research shows significant proportions of staff working in the retail industry are being affected by money worries, stress and burnout. This is crucial information for employers in this sector.

“Organisations have rightfully been prioritising mental and physical wellbeing benefits, yet financial stress impacts both. What’s more, frontline staff have not been given the same access to high-quality wellbeing benefits as desk workers. This is because these benefits are typically offered via a desktop platform or require an email address.

“But Claro Wellbeing has listened and we now have the answer. Our mission is to provide market-leading financial wellbeing benefits to every deskless workforce across the country, built specifically for them and delivered via WhatsApp. Our offering prioritises the needs of frontline employees and includes customised financial products, engaging educational content and a dedicated support team to give them the benefits they deserve.

“Supporting staff financial wellbeing is just as important as supporting their mental and physical health – in fact, all three are linked. A good financial wellbeing strategy is not one-size-fits-all – it needs to be inclusive and offer tailored guidance to your employees at whatever age and stage of their career they’re at. This could include one-on-one financial coaching, interactive sessions based on your team’s needs and a wide range of on-demand courses.

“With the cost of living crisis at the top of everyone’s minds and Mental Health Awareness Week bringing mental health to the forefront, companies simply can’t risk not prioritising the financial health of their employees.”