It’s almost always uncomfortable. It’s sometimes inappropriate. It’s rarely a polite dinner table conversation…
It’s money talk.
In spite of all of the discomfort and negativity associated with talking about money, research shows that people who have open conversations about money make better financial decisions and experience less stress and anxiety.
Still, many cultures have taboos around discussing finances. Women, in particular, may feel limited access to conversations around money. There are also personal factors. For instance, if an employee is in a bad financial situation, they may feel too embarrassed to reach out for help.
As a company leader, you’re in a unique position to offer access and resources for dealing with finances. This week is “Talk Money Week” and the perfect time to break the conversational barriers with your employees.
Here are 6 ways to get the conversations started:
Survey Your employees
You shouldn’t assume you know what questions and concerns your employees have surrounding money. A lot depends on their ages and situations in life such as whether they have a family or if they are close to retirement.
Consider polling your staff on questions like these from Financial Literacy Development Programmer iGrad:
- What is the last money mistake you made and why?
- What major expenses do you have in the upcoming year?
- How do you plan to pay for college for your children?
- Are you on track for saving for retirement?
- How do you plan to improve your earning capacity?
Use the answers to create useful conversations or programme offerings for your employees.
Lunch and Learn Sessions
Once or twice a month, cater lunch for your employees and invite them to eat while they learn. This is a great opportunity to allow employees to teach each other. Start by learning from each other. Ask if there are members of the team with exceptional financial literacy skills who would like to present. Have one of the accounting staff explain financial terms. Also, invite a representative from your insurance provider to speak.
It’s important to keep the event light and voluntary. Of course, offering food always helps your turnout, but you’ll also be reaching the employees who are most receptive to growing their financial literacy.
Financial Literacy Book Club
Invite employees to participate in a once-a-month book club. You can choose any book you want or pick from this list of 7 of the best financial literacy books here.
Put together a reading schedule and create conversation starters based on the book’s content. Though this may not provide direct strategies, just the act of talking about money removes barriers and increases everyone’s comfort levels. And people who are comfortable talking about money often make better financial decisions.
Skills often transfer from one area of life to another. By inviting your team to participate in budget conversations for your department or company, you’re helping them develop skills that will transfer to their personal financial situations.
Coach them by first modelling how you prepare the budget. Then invite them to ask questions. Keep your coaching open and non-judgmental. Show that you value their ideas and gently educate them when needed.
Open your Door
Make sure your employees know that your door is always open if they need one-on-one financial help or counselling. After all, financially healthy employees worry less. They become more productive and happier than a stressed employee.
Above all, walk the walk
To be effective at coaching in any subject area, you and your company have to represent what you’re teaching. Make sure that you model good money conversations with your employees. They’ll gradually feel secure enough to become comfortable having those discussions.
Help your employees improve their financial literacy and well-being. See how you create deeper team relationships, stronger customer services and increased customer satisfaction. Is your company willing to pass up these benefits? Contact us and learn how we can support your holistic, personalised well-being initiatives.