What is Money?

We know it can be a dirty word. It’s one of those awkward things to talk about, especially at work. We know that it has the ability to influence decision-making and we know it is a big driver behind resignations and Employee retention strategies. But does that mean we shouldn’t talk about it at all?

People are starting to feel the increased cost of living, groceries, petrol, even the humble cup of coffee, have all had a price increase. The pinch is being felt not only locally, but nationally and globally. If you were to ask your closest friend if they were concerned about their finances over the next six months, many of you would find that there is a lot more financial stress out there than people are willing to admit.  But again, that doesn’t mean we should avoid talking about it.

Traditionally in an employment perspective, money has been tied to the value that you bring to the Employer. It’s an exchange for your time and effort and the work that you produce. But now Employers are starting to see beyond that, there is a paradigm shift in what the Employer/Employee relationship looks like. Think of those that aim toward the status of being an Employer of Choice. This title is not bestowed because Employees are paid a significant chunk of money and the business is highly profitably. This title is earnt from a collection of behaviours and actions, not all of them financially incentivised.

There is big money being thrown around now for Employees to change roles and companies. Sign on bonuses, additional leave, additional promises and the fictious promise of ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’. But is that true? Or is it better to stay where you know and with what you know? From both perspectives, how are Employees providing their feedback about their own aspirations and how are Employers sharing theirs about the business direction?

Often when we talk about money, we also perhaps don’t understand what money means to someone else. To some its more than just money in the bank account, or what they can use it for. It’s the emotion of supporting someone else, it’s paying down debt, it’s saving, it’s the assumptions that come from having or not having it. As such this is perhaps why talking about money is uncomfortable – because it means different things to different people.

In order to destigmatise this and perhaps lead by example, it is a worthy exercise and to assist with becoming an “Employer of Choice”, that Employers look for positive ways to talk about money without the emotional connotations. Creating this concept of financial wellness is one way to achieve that. This includes sharing useful resources and tools to help Employees grow their financial knowledge, it might be corporate rates or discounts for goods and services that are common accesses by everyone. It might even be an Employee Share Scheme. Whatever it might be, might not necessarily have a monetary value, but it does inversely affect the purchasing power of the money they do have.

With this in mind, how are Employers meant to know what is considered fair and reasonable money? There are a number of ways for this to be done, benchmarking against competitors, reviewing salary guides and engaging professionals like us to assist with the process. The value of Employees has never been higher. The old adage of doing the right thing by them and they’ll do the right thing by you is currently being challenged. Money matters, but in a holistic sense so does work life balance.

If you’re needing some help determining where your Employee’s money sits, then reach out to us at [email protected] and we can assist.

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