As a caring employer you need to step up and provide support for your employees when they face challenges that come with different life events. For example, a huge life event is buying their own home. Most people dream of owning their own home and in many cases having a job enables them to do this, because with a regular income they can usually get a mortgage. But they also need to save a deposit to be able to buy a house, and many individuals think that they just can’t afford to do this, especially with all of the extra costs. Those employees who are in a position where they rent their home may also be experiencing stress due to the uncertainty of their positon, and feeling as if they are pouring money away and not getting anything in return. In fact, your employee buying a house could be beneficial to you as an employer. Being settled in one place means they are less likely to change jobs, and this provides security for you knowing that you are retaining a valuable member of your team and you won’t have to spend money on recruitment.
Offering good benefits
Employees who are happier and secure are likely to be more productive at work, which is obviously beneficial to you as their employer. On top of this, if you offer benefits to your employees to help them with things outside of work, like mortgages or home insurance for example, this could help them save time and money. Some employers provide a saving scheme specifically for house deposits, into which employees make contributions and the employer also makes contributions too – what a fantastic incentive to start saving, AND to stay with this great employer that provides their employees with amazing benefits! A workplace savings scheme is a great way to save, because employees can pay into it directly from their salary which means it is in their savings before they have the chance to spend it.
Support and engagement
Furthermore, as income and mortgages are directly linked, once an employee has a mortgage they need their income to continue making repayments. Any old job can provide an income, but employees are unlikely to leave a good, supportive employer that offers them relevant benefits. A common benefit that employers offer is income protection and employees would appreciate this if they are concerned that losing their income could mean losing their house. If conversations can be started around employees’ more immediate concerns about financial planning, the door is then open to continue that engagement about other types of benefits. Research shows that employees who feel cared for are much more* likely to stay with their current employer for longer, so the investment is definitely worth it.
What else can you do?
Employers can’t provide financial advice to employees, but they can provide access to different types of financial advice through regulated third parties. It is also worth considering who is the right provider for this advice. Financial education can help employees understand the processes of buying a house and the costs involved which will help them to plan ahead and save for this massive purchase.
They can also offer certain benefits to help save money in particular areas of their lives outside of work. A savings scheme with work may be a good way to help employees save more money than they would by putting money away in the bank for example. Learning about how to save would also be beneficial for employees as many don’t know what savings options are out there. If you have in-house savings schemes; whether that’s saving through pay, share scheme or others, this could be an excellent way for staff to save for a house deposit, but employees need help to connect the tool with their goals. It makes sense for employers to promote all of their benefits to employees regularly and talk to employees about what they need, as their needs can change with each life event.
* Employees who feel cared for are 27% more likely to stay with their current employer for over five years, compared to those who feel adequately or poorly looked after” (Unum 2014).