Cost of living: The best financial wellbeing questions to include in your next employee pulse survey

Stribe - Cost of Living Blog Image

In this article, I’ve outlined how to avoid the pitfalls when introducing new initiatives during challenging times. And how pulse surveys – if you use the right questions – can be a simple and effective tool to help you build a financial wellbeing strategy that truly makes a difference for your employees.

Creating a tailored solution is key to an effective financial wellbeing strategy

Over half (52%) of all UK employees admit that the cost of living crisis is having an effect on how they are performing at work. This ranges from a drop in productivity, creativity and concentration to more serious issues, such as burnout and presenteeism.

Many business leaders are working to find ways to support their employees amidst their own challenges with revenue and budgets. When considering the support you put in place for your employees it can be really easy to be swept up in what you see other organisations doing. If it works for their employees, it’ll work for yours, right? Wrong. Following this path leads to time and money being wasted on a solution that isn’t used and is ineffective. Don’t be tempted to follow the herd. Make it a rule to follow your herd.

By using pulse surveys to ask financial wellbeing questions, you can begin generating a clear picture of how your employees feel – so that you can start to understand how you can provide tailored support to exactly where its needed, and make workplace changes that benefit everyone.

The best financial wellbeing pulse survey questions to ask

How successful your pulse survey are in creating change will rely on two things:

  1. How well you structure the question(s)
  2. The tools you can use to analyse your data

Here are four of Stribe’s favourite tried and tested questions that you can incorporate into your next employee survey. These questions will give you the insights you need to build an effective financial wellbeing plan that creates real change for your employees.

1. How much are financial worries currently affecting your mental wellbeing? Answer Type: 1-10 (Not at all – A lot)

Free text follow-up question: Which element of your finances impacts your mental wellbeing the most?

2. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: I often lose sleep worrying about my finances. Answer Type: 1 – 10 (Never – Always)

Free text follow-up question: Please share detail to expand on why you scored this way

3. I feel confident I could handle a major unexpected expense. Answer Type: 1-10 (Strongly disagree – Strongly agree)

Follow-up question: Please share more detail

4. In the past two weeks, how often have you felt worried about the rising costs of living? Answer Type: 1-10 (Never – Very frequently)

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Follow-up question: What types of support would help you?

Create change that matters

These questions will only get you so far though. You also need to think about the software you are using to send your pulse surveys. Consider using a tool that will allow you to drill down into your data so that you can understand the key themes and trends in your employees’ feedback.

If you aren’t already, using a tool built for employee surveys (as opposed to a free online form provider) will make a huge difference to the success of new initiatives you introduce. Being able to confidently analyse your data by demographics such as Team, Location, Pay Grade, Office/Home-Worker will give you context you can use to create change that matters.

For example, if many of the colleagues who are being affected by financial worries work from home, they won’t benefit from office-based initiatives such as free food in office kitchens, but may appreciate a supermarket voucher as an alternative. This shouldn’t add any complexity to your pulse surveys, many software providers offer this as standard – just make sure they also give you the flexibility to ask the questions you want to ask.

By using these pulse survey questions – and being smart about the tools you use to collect your insights – you will ensure that the support and resources you put in place for your employees is tailored and relevant to their needs, saving time and money for your organisation but most importantly, ensuring that it is effective in supporting their financial wellbeing during this cost of living crisis.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can watch Stribe’s recent webinar on how to use pulse surveys to build an employee wellbeing strategy here.

About the author:

For over nine years Lucy Harvey has worked within purpose-driven organisations in the health and employee wellbeing space. Her personal experience with mental health drives her passion for creating positive change in the workplace. Today, she is on a mission to help leaders and teams create workplaces where everyone can thrive and be their happiest, healthiest selves.

Lucy is currently COO at provider of flexible employee engagement surveys Stribe. Here, she leads the customer success and marketing teams to create workplaces that great people thrive in. Stribe work with some of the UK’s most forward-thinking organisations from Premier League Football Clubs to an LSE-listed Financial Services business.

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Lunch & Learn Webinar: What HR can do to support financial wellbeing through the cost-of-living crisis



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