An international study has found that employees are far more comfortable seeking financial advice from their employer than a qualified adviser, believing their employers is more trustworthy and experienced on matters of money.
The Healthy, Wealthy and Work-Wise report by global HR consulting firm Mercer found that 79 per cent of workers looked up to their employer as someone from whom they would seek advice about planning, saving and investing money for retirement.
This was because they believed their employers were trustworthy and independent, and able to give “sound” advice on financial matters.
Qualified financial advisers, however, were a much less-favoured option, with just 56 per cent of workers will to consult one — even less than those who would trust their finances and investments with an online tool or app (61 per cent).
In fact, employers were deemed to be the third most reliable and trustworthy source of advice on financial matters, behind their spouse or partner and other relatives.
Some 57 per cent also indicated that they would trust their direct line manager for financial advice.
“The greater level of trust that employees place in their employers compared to other sources surprised business leaders, who assumed employees placed an equal amount of trust in financial advisors and their employers,” the report said.
“As employees place a great deal of trust in employers for financial advice, now is not the time for organizations [sic] to reduce employee healthcare or financial security benefits.”
Mercer also suggested that lower levels of financial insecurity among their workforce also delivers productivity wins.
“People spend on average 10 hours worrying about finances while at work each week, but only a quarter of companies offer policies and practices that address employees’ financial health today,” it noted in the report.
“Introducing financial wellness programs to reduce employees’ financial insecurity can be beneficial to organizations [sic] as they gain improved productivity and employee engagement.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.