By: James Herbert, Founder & CSO, Hastee
How fintech solutions can help the struggling industries to fill a growing skills gap
Almost all industries, from manufacturing to hospitality, have been hit by lots of change in recent years, but COVID-19 caused paramount uncertainty across the board as workers struggled through the volatility of lockdowns and ever-changing working conditions.
Since the UK announced the easing of all restrictions, many workers have left their jobs or are considering doing so. The recent Microsoft Work trend Index, which surveyed 30,000 global workers, showed that 41% were considering quitting or changing professions this year, and 38% of workers are planning to leave their current job over the coming months.
Many are choosing to change sectors to those that have experienced minimal impact from both the pandemic and Brexit. Others, after a change in mindset during the pandemic, are choosing to move to jobs that more strongly align with their current priorities. Whatever the reason, employees are looking for new jobs in their masses, so business leaders must reconsider the benefits they offer employees and how best to support the mental health of their workers to ensure they continue to attract and retain talent.
There has never been a more competitive time for companies looking to keep their workforce happy, and flexible pay options are fast becoming a differentiator for businesses looking to do exactly that. Employees are demanding more from their employers and want to ensure they’re financially supported as the UK begins to recover economically from the pandemic fallout.
So, how can businesses use fintech to help support their employees?
Supporting employees and boosting workplace wellbeing
Post-pandemic, businesses must be open to new opportunities to adapt to the changing markets, and consider how best to use technology to increase their efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. What’s more, it’s pivotal that employers have measures in place that consider the mental wellbeing of their employees.
Workers have already faced considerable disruption over the past 18 months, and COVID-19 has helped to shine a light on the importance of workplace wellbeing. After all, according to research from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, a happy employee is a more productive employee, and a report from nexalearning also points towards satisfied employees being more creative and less likely to suffer from fatigue.
Technology is just one of the ways that businesses can help to boost workplace wellbeing, whether it’s using the latest software to conduct surveys that monitor workplace health and gather employee feedback, or embracing communication platforms that help workers and line managers to stay connected even when working apart.
Organisations can also apply more innovative approaches to financial wellbeing. Companies can adopt low-cost or even free fintech technology, for example, providing workers with more flexibility when it comes to accessing the money they’ve earned.
This can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting new workers, with our recent survey revealing 60% of workers are more likely to stay with an employer that offers flexible payment options. But, despite awareness growing around flexible pay as a means to promote good financial health, nearly 46% of respondents suggest that their employer offers no form of benefits for physical, mental or financial health. If businesses want to retain and attract talent amidst ‘the great resignation’, they need to prioritise the financial wellbeing of employees and ensure more progressive measures are in place to support this.
Helping workers to avoid high-cost credit
An ‘Earnings on Demand’ (EoD) payment model is one such flexible solution, providing employees with the opportunity to access a portion of their monthly pay in real-time. This means that even when times are tough, businesses can provide workers with a financial lifeline, helping them to access the pay they’ve earned without having to turn to high-cost credit. This is particularly relevant following the impact of COVID-19, with over a quarter (29%) of UK workers increasing their use of high-cost credit during the pandemic, despite 63% of respondents applying while knowing they would struggle to make the repayments.
Businesses are also in a great position to help their workforce when it comes to financial advice and budgeting, with plenty of different options available. nudge, for example, gives users access to financial education and money management tools. Along with Earnings on Demand, such tools can really help workers to take control of their finances, making the decisions that will help their money to go a whole lot further.
With all industries becoming ever more competitive, and businesses facing a tough challenge when it comes to attracting the best talent, workplace wellbeing solutions offer an effective way of bridging the growing skills gap. Not only can such solutions help to attract and retain workers, they can also help when it comes to increasing productivity and creativity, helping companies to meet the challenges of Brexit and a post-pandemic world head on.