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With Talk Money Week on the horizon from November 8-12, we wanted to get past the taboo and, well …talk money!

We think financial health should be a key component of a construction companies’ wellbeing strategy, yet it’s often seen as something that’s not easy (or polite) to talk about.

But as the recent pandemic has highlighted, while managing your physical health is paramount, thinking – and talking – about your financial health is important too.

Because even if you look beyond individual strife (which is a huge issue in itself), having workers in financial difficulty on your team can have an immensely detrimental impact on company morale and even safety – as being preoccupied with financial worries will mean full concentration is not always being given to the task in hand.

In the construction industry, where concentration is key, that could end in catastrophe.

The facts of the matter

The Money Charity has published a report with some stark stats in it:

  • The average total debt per UK household was £62,670 in July 2021
  • The average household had a £2,030 debt in July 2021
  • There was a 7.7% increase in the average first-time buyer house price in the year to July 2021
  • It’s taking an average of 9 years for a first-time buyer to save a house deposit with the average UK income

Many have faced real – and ongoing – financial struggles through Covid, with huge changes to industry, mental health, ways of working, and childcare issues.

Talking about money, (or a lack thereof), is a very touchy subject …especially in a male-dominated industry such as ours. But with the right advice, direction and support, it doesn’t have to be that way.

At this stage it’s worth noting that financial wellbeing isn’t just a question of debt management – in fact it’s far more about planning for the future through savings, investments, mortgages and retirement planning, as just a few examples. It’s about what you, your family and dependents need now and will need tomorrow and going forward – it’s about ‘needs’, rather than ‘issues’.

Solutions for the construction industry

  • Embed financial wellbeing in your health and wellbeing strategy.
  • If implemented well, this is a topic that will appeal to everyone in your workforce. For obvious reasons, most people will have an interest in finance. A good strategy needs careful development, evaluation and implementation.
  • Take a ‘needs assessment’. You can access this one for FREE. Or, here at Construction Health & Wellbeing, we can undertake one for you.
  • Share free resources with your workforce. For example, you can download the free participation pack for Talk Money Week HERE. Or this Money Helper HERE.
  • You may have access to other support through your benefit suppliers, pensions/EAP, but an additional great step for construction workers is the Construction Industry Helpline, as well as the industry partnership with global financial wellbeing platform Nudge.

Construction Health & Wellbeing can help and advise you on all of the above – if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always happy to help.

A wellbeing strategy that is based on employee’s needs is essential for organisations of all sizes, and financial wellbeing should always be part of this strategy. We can help you develop, and point you in the direction of lots of useful resources to make that process more straightforward.

Here are a few more:

CIPD – Employee Financial Wellbeing

Citizens Advice – Debt and Money

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