The 2023 HR Future Focus Survey has found that HR professionals believe not enough is being done to support employee financial wellness or meet employees’ cost of living.

Martin Parish, UK leader for workplace pensions and financial wellbeing at Aon, commented:

The results indicate that there’s cause for concern of greater stress on individuals who may be suffering in silence and allowing financial worries to impact their wellbeing and their productivity at work.

Martin Parish, UK leader for workplace pensions and financial wellbeing at Aon

Aon’s study used the firm’s Neurotech® listening tool, Reflection®, which captures two types of insights: a ‘traditional’ score – what people are prepared to say (consciously moderated answers) and a neuroscientific score – how people genuinely feel.

The difference between the two scores reveals a cognitive dissonance gap. This gap is the difference between what people say and what people really think. When both scores are close together, it suggests low cognitive dissonance where people are responding authentically. However, when there is a clear gap between the scores, it indicates a degree of inauthenticity.

The survey shows a marked disparity when participants were asked to respond to the statement: ‘We do enough to support employee financial wellness.’ The traditional score was 59 percent, while the neuroscientific score was much lower at 20 percent. This significant 39 percent gap indicates that HR professionals feel that not enough is being done to help employees manage their financial commitments.

This gap between employers believing they are matching their employees’ financial needs with appropriate support and how they feel employees perceive their efforts is further demonstrated when respondents were asked the following financial wellbeing statements:

  • Our employees are coping with the cost of living crisis. Traditional score: 53 percent / Neuroscientific score: 24 percent (29 percent difference)
  • Employees feel confident about their financial future. Traditional score: 51 percent / Neuroscientific score: 20 percent (31 percent difference)

However, Aon’s survey also showed that health and wellbeing is valued in organisations. When respondents were asked if they believe that employees were encouraged to live healthily, the traditional score was 65 percent, while the neuroscientific score was 85 percent. The positive 20 percent incline in the authentic response indicates that the vast majority of respondents truly believe that healthy living is supported at work.

This is further demonstrated when participants responded to further wellbeing support questions:

  • Our CEO values wellbeing for positive business outcomes. Traditional score: 67 percent / Neuroscientific score: 84 percent (17 percent difference)
  • A well workforce is better for our business. Traditional score: 85 percent / Neuroscientific score: 75 percent (10 percent difference)

Letitia Rowlin, principal wellbeing consultant at Aon, commented:

It’s never been more important for businesses to support employees’ health and wellbeing. This view is shared by HR leaders as reflected in the results from Reflection® which show genuine belief that wellbeing is key to driving performance and retaining talent. However, the results also indicate that more needs to be done to support employee resilience, with particular risks being identified, including the lack of manager empowerment and the current cost of living. Businesses with healthier employees will always have better outcomes.

Letitia Rowlin, principal wellbeing consultant at Aon

For more information, download Aon’s 2023 HR Future Focus HR Respondents Survey here.

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.