Up next on MaltaCEOs.mt’s Work and Wealth Watch series where Money Coach Luca Caruana gives his expert responses to all your questions related to money, work and wealth. Want to see your own questions answered on MaltaCEOs.mt? Send your questions on [email protected]

Dear Luca,

As the CEO of a prominent digital marketing firm in Malta, I’ve always recognised the importance of a strong and motivated team in fostering innovation and achieving success.

Lately, I’ve become more and more focused on the financial welfare of our employees. I have always maintained that such stress is not solely a personal matter, and if left unaddressed, it can have an impact on workplace morale… I prioritise the welfare of my employees, particularly their mental wellbeing, drawing from my own personal experiences with mental health challenges.

However, when it comes to the financial aspect, I struggle to address it without undermining the pride of the employees. What is the significance of this? Personal finances often carry a certain stigma… I don’t want to implement a wellbeing program and have the staff thinking that I’m doing it because I lack confidence in their financial skills… I am confident that many will appreciate the effort, but there are some who may not be as receptive… What is your suggested approach for introducing such a crucial topic? My goal is to not only assist our employees in attaining personal financial stability, but also to cultivate an atmosphere where discussions about compensation are accompanied by a comprehensive understanding of financial management.

I strongly believe that by equipping our team with the necessary financial skills, we can also expect a positive transformation in the way salary demands are approached and discussed. They would gain a greater appreciation for the value of their current compensation and experience reduced pressure to pursue higher salaries as their financial management skills improve.

Can you offer some advice on how to effectively structure these financial wellness programs? How can we guarantee that these initiatives have a significant impact on employees’ financial security, potentially reducing the need for salary increase requests, without giving the impression that they are a replacement for fair compensation?

Kind regards, A CEO Committed to Employee Wellbeing

Luca Responds:

Dear CEO Committed to Employee Wellbeing,

Financial Wellbeing is indeed at its very beginning, not just in Malta, but also around Europe. Being an avid follower of wellbeing programs worldwide, I am surprised that it was not something which companies invested in, until recently.

That is also why I am genuinely excited by your plan to introduce it in your own company, and I do hope that others will follow your example.

As you rightly pointed out financial education can indeed play a crucial role in not just alleviating personal financial stress but also in creating a more content and stable workforce.

I understand your concern that some employees might not be receptive to such programs. In my experience this can be alleviated if you introduce the concept gradually within your firm, by starting with a survey asking them some general questions about personal finances, ending it with if they would like to take such education further. Most of the time, when it comes to personal finances, many genuinely want to learn more.

Once such a survey is done, you can follow up with:

1. Tailored Financial Education Workshops: Organise workshops that address various aspects of financial management, including budgeting, saving, debt management, investing, and money & mental wellbeing. Tailor these sessions to different life stages and financial goals to ensure relevance to all employees.

2. One-on-One Financial Coaching: Offer personalised financial coaching sessions. These can provide employees with customised advice to manage their finances effectively, set personal financial goals, and develop strategies to achieve them. This is a method which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, hence enhancing companies’ retention rate

3. Transparent Communication on Compensation and Growth Opportunities: Maintain open communication about how salaries are determined and the pathways available for career and salary progression within the company. Understanding their growth potential within the organisation can motivate employees to focus on long-term career development rather than short-term salary increases.

4. Highlight the Value of Comprehensive Benefits: Educate employees on the full value of their compensation package, including benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and any other perks. Understanding the total value of their compensation can help employees see beyond base salary.

5. Encourage the Creation of Emergency Savings Funds: Support employees in establishing emergency savings, which can reduce financial stress and make salary increases less critical for immediate financial security. This can be enhanced through a Financial Wellbeing Platform which marks the employee’s progress on his/her journey in enhancing his/her relationship with money.

6. Foster a Supportive Community: Create forums or groups where employees can share financial tips, successes, and challenges. A community approach can reinforce learning and provide peer support.

By implementing these programs, you’re not only helping your employees manage their finances better but also fostering a workplace culture that values and supports overall wellbeing. This holistic approach to financial wellness can lead to employees valuing their roles and compensation more fully, potentially leading to a more stable and satisfied team.

It’s essential to note that these initiatives complement rather than replace fair and competitive compensation practices. Having said that, I am sure they will have a very positive impact on your staff’s money management skills.

Warm regards,

Luca, The Money Coach, from the Money Coaching Hub


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