Financial stress is impacting ECEC job performance, super survey finds
The Sector > Workforce > Financial stress is impacting ECEC job performance, super survey finds

Financial stress is impacting ECEC job performance, super survey finds

by Freya Lucas

September 05, 2022

Financial stress is having an impact on the behavior and performance of staff in the broader education sector, a new survey from industry super fund NGS Super has found, calling on employers to step up and provide employees with financial wellbeing programs. 



While many sectors and industries are experiencing “the war for talent” as unemployment is at record lows, NGS Super has said options to attract and retain employees now require hiring organisations to “think beyond a pay cheque” and look at a financial education program as part of employment benefits.


“Investing in a financially secure workforce is good for staff and employers. This may seem like an obvious truth but as the economy emerges from the impacts of the pandemic, understanding the drivers for attracting and retaining valued staff is extremely important,” said NGS Super Chief Experience Officer Melissa Adam.


Those who responded to the NGS Survey said major causes of concern in the past year included the rising cost of living, needing to budget, and meeting unexpected challenges of emergencies and expenses. 


Sixty-eight per cent also agreed that they saw their employer as having a role in helping them prepare for retirement.


“From budgeting, to saving for a specific goal, understanding superannuation, and planning for retirement, many employees are ready to learn how they can better manage their finances,” Ms Adam continued.

“Employers have an opportunity to differentiate themselves by offering programs to help staff feel financially secure. This has the added benefit of creating a more engaged workforce.”


While many people don’t start thinking about their superannuation until they are close to retirement age, NGS believes that financial wellbeing education in the workplace should span from an employee’s first day to their last day.


“When a new employee starts, no matter where they are in their career, an employer has an ideal opportunity to connect them to information about superannuation and other financial topics that can make a difference across their life,” she continued.


“A program that includes access to financial experts, tips and advice that helps improve their financial knowledge is a great way to provide a benefit that offers value beyond their salary,” Ms Adam added.


More than half of those who responded to the survey said they would use free financial advice if it came with their superannuation fund, unaware that this is an option offered by many funds. 


“This lack of awareness combined with high levels of financial stress is why we are encouraging employers to offer programs to help staff feel more secure about their financial future” Ms Adam said. 


“We know that when employees are struggling with their finances, standards of education and care can be affected.Instead of spending time reactively managing their workforce, we want employers to be able to focus on their strategy, leading their teams and strengthening staff retention.” 


To support the discussion, NGS Super has created a toolkit with templates for emails, conversation starters and a range of other materials. 


More information about NGS Super is available here. 

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