Money is a topic shrouded in mystery and emotion for many, with discussions often being tiptoed around in both personal and professional settings. Money shame, an aversion to exploring financial matters, can deter personal growth and organisational advancement.
At the recent FHRD conference which I attended, the subject of financial wellbeing was not really tackled by any of the speakers, even though recent statistics and studies are showing that the demand for financial education is growing. And it is hard to blame anyone for this, because the main challenge remains: How can we introduce the subject delicately?
Here are strategies to pave the way for financial wellbeing, whether you’re an organisation or an individual:
For organisations / firms:
- Start with a survey: Understand employees’ needs and concerns. Anonymous feedback can shape a customised, sensitive approach.
- Lead with empathy: Emphasise that the goal is empowerment, not judgement. Financial wellbeing is about enabling, not critiquing.
- Normalise the conversation: Regular, informal financial discussions can help dissipate unease around the subject.
- Engage external experts: Neutral third-party professionals can foster a safe environment for financial discussions.
- Offer multiple learning platforms: Cater to diverse learning styles with workshops, personal consultations, digital resources, and more.
- Celebrate success stories: With consent, sharing stories can inspire others to take steps towards financial literacy.
- Prioritise confidentiality: Ensure that personal financial details remain private.
- Encourage management participation: When leadership embraces financial wellbeing, it inspires the entire team.
- Self-education: Start with books, podcasts, or online courses on personal finance. Knowledge is the first step to breaking money shame.
- Seek mentorship: Find someone you trust, perhaps someone who has navigated financial challenges, to guide you.
- Join or form support groups: Sharing experiences and lessons with peers can be both therapeutic and enlightening.
- Set small goals: Breaking down financial aspirations into manageable tasks can make the journey seem less daunting.
- Celebrate your milestones: Recognising your progress, no matter how small, is crucial for motivation.
- Practice openness: Challenge yourself to have candid financial conversations with trusted friends or family.
- Engage a financial coach: If you can, seek professional advice to ensure you’re on the right track.
In wrapping up, the journey to financial wellbeing, whether embarked upon by an organisation or an individual, is a deeply personal one. While challenges like money shame can be intimidating, with the right tools and mindset, they can be overcome. The objective remains consistent: Empowerment, growth, and long-term prosperity.
Follow Luca Caruana’s weekly column here, and his LinkedIn account or his Instagram for more budgeting hacks. For other money-related columns, check out Luca’s thoughts about the girl math trend and his advice to help change the narrative about women and money.