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Amyr Rocha-Lima: Why HR officers should be your next business relationship target

Being the dedicated adviser to the employees of local businesses will boost your reputation and grow your firm

Taken at face value, the roles of financial planner and HR officer may not appear to have much in common. Yet, the two can dovetail perfectly in some situations. The most obvious benefit is when it comes to a company’s employees.

So, how can these professionals work together to everyone’s benefit?

Let us start with the phrase “financial wellness”. This expression has entered the HR lexicon in recent times but what exactly does it mean? Well, it can be described as an indication of how aware a person is of their current financial position, as well as their capability for saving and spending wisely in the future.

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The United States of Stress Survey 2018 found that 52 per cent of people regularly get stressed about their financial situation, making this the most common source of stress reported. In addition, retirement is classed as the 10th most stressful event in life on the Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale, coming in not far behind getting fired and just ahead of a major change in a family member’s health.

Not to mention that financial problems or uncertainty over the future can seriously impact someone’s performance at work. The situation is made even more difficult if they feel their company has let them down by offering incorrect or inadequate financial advice.

So, it is easy to see why HR officers are so keen to increase the financial wellness of their staff. This becomes an even more pressing concern with senior management.

By offering independent financial advice from a trusted source, the business can look after its employees by letting them take control of their retirement planning. This service can also help staff make the best use of their employee benefits scheme, as well as give them the sort of general financial advice everyone needs from time to time.

The Society for Human Resource Management has reported that financial wellness training is one of the key trends for the years ahead. In fact, its studies showed almost half of all employers offered some form of financial advice to staff in 2017.

Naturally, any company that treats its employees well in this respect can expect them to show a greater degree of loyalty.

This should help it increase overall retention rates.

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Financial planners will benefit richly from this. By offering a fixed-fee service to local businesses, they can ensure a steady stream of profitable and worthwhile work.

Specialist expertise

Even highly educated and experienced employees can lack the financial knowledge needed to plan their own retirement. HR executives can help to a degree but their experience in the complexities of financial planning can be limited.

Bear in mind that HR officers currently face a double-edged challenge too. As well as keeping up to date with the latest pension planning legislation, they also need to attempt to provide independent financial planning that their senior employees can trust and that is genuinely useful.

A financial planner will offer independent advice drawn from their own years of studying and experience. Letting someone know how much they need to save for retirement and how to carry out the necessary lifestyle transition is a specialised task that needs to be handled with care. A professional planner will ensure the conversation with each employee is designed to help their specific needs.

What next?

Think about this: if you were an executive in the HR department, hiring a chief financial officer for the business is a smart decision, right? Planners should pitch themselves as “personal CFOs” to help their senior employees navigate their own financial landscape.

Businesses will often set aside a certain monetary budget that can be dedicated to this service. So, taking on this crucial role with local businesses can be an excellent way to grow your own firm and enhance your reputation.

Amyr Rocha-Lima is a chartered financial planner at Holland Hahn & Wills

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