Why it pays to up-skill employees in financial literacy

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For business owners and senior managers, upskilling employees has long been the alternative to outside hiring when looking to fill skills gaps. But upskilling shouldn't only concern skills that are directly applicable to a role. It's also an excellent way to provide real value to employees and boost team morale - not to mention the company's bottom line.

The latest figures from YouGov on the UK population’s general level of financial literacy suggests that personal finances are an area of weakness for many Britons - just 50% of adult Britons rate themselves as having 'some' understanding of financial products and services, and this number falls to 45% for 18- to 34-year-olds. And it's not an issue that’s unique to the UK, with research by Foxplan in New Zealand finding that 87% of employees wanted financial education.

The demand is there, but what are the benefits to the business? We've rounded up our top five reasons why we think it pays to help your team get financially literate below.

1. Happier employees

Upskilling your employees is a great way to show them that you're investing in them, helping to make them feel valued and secure in their role. When employees are happier, they can be more productive, too - with less time spent worrying about the security of their job or position, and more invested in accomplishing their work to a high standard.

2. Improved company performance

Over 80% of employers surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management indicated that their employees' personal financial issues impacted their job performance. The resultant stress can mean an unfocused team member who isn’t contributing as much as they could be - and this can consequently cause a team to underperform, especially if the employee in question is in a management position. Helping them make better financial decisions can go a long way to forestalling or eliminating these issues, and have a positive impact on the effectiveness of a team.

3. Increased participation in company pension/benefit schemes

Company pension and benefits schemes offer many of the same rewards as upskilling - happier employees, better company performance and improved retention. But they can only do that if employees choose to participate in them. Boosting the team's financial literacy will help them to better understand the advantages of company financial schemes, and can help to boost engagement with them.

4. Improved employee retention

It's no secret that finding, interviewing and hiring employees is a drain on resources, particularly for SMEs - according to a report by recruitment firm Search Party, 86% of UK small business owners spend at least an extra 10 hours a week on recruitment. Better retaining existing team members can go some way to reducing this figure - and upskilling is a great way of helping employees be happier, more secure, more effective and more likely to stay. 

5. A better reputation among jobseekers

The competition for the best staff can be fierce - and offering tangible benefits is a great way to make your firm stand out. You might not have Silicon Valley style slides and rumpus rooms, but providing consistent financial upskilling and support can be a real draw for jobseekers.

Get started with building your happier, more effective and financially literate team today - take a look at our business solution pages

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