A study has uncovered a significant connection between demographic factors and the willingness of employees to discuss money-related concerns at work.
In the report ‘Dynamics in Financial Wellbeing: the Stigma Edition 2023’ by financial wellbeing platform Bippit, gender emerged as a key variable. More than double the number of women (50%) than men (21%) said they were not comfortable sharing money worries with their employer.
The research, which surveyed 5,000 UK employees and 660 senior HR professionals, also identified age as a significant factor. Three-quarters (74%) of over-55s haven’t told their employer about their money worries – which is slightly more than for 18- to 25-year-olds (70%) and well above the figure across all age groups (58%).
Additionally, more than twice as many older workers (20% compared to 8% across all age ranges) said they didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about their money worries.
When it comes to pay, well over half (58%) of those earning £15,000 or less per year said they would not be comfortable sharing money worries with their employer. This compares with 24% in the £35,001 to £45,000 bracket, and 18% in the £45,001 to £55,000 bracket.
In addition, the research identified length of service as a demographic factor influencing willingness to share money worries at work. Just under two-thirds (62%) of those with less than six months’ service were not comfortable sharing. The same proportion of those with 30-plus years of service felt the same. This compares to 43% for service between one to two years and 25% for three to four years’ service
According to Sam Lathey, CEO of Bippit, the research has “significant implications” for employer communications, with personalised engagement being “essential” to engage with individuals in the workplace.
“In order to improve financial wellbeing in our organisations, we can’t treat all of our employees as if they were the same person with the same needs,” Lathey said.
“As the research shows, for example, women are significantly less likely to want to talk about money at work than men, so we need to recognise this and tailor our initiatives accordingly,” he added.