How a people-first accountancy firm gives their own people financial peace of mind
Blick Rothenberg is an award-winning tax, audit and advisory firm that prides itself on putting people first. When it comes to wellbeing, their CEO, Nimesh Shah, epitomises leading from the front. He’s passionate about looking after his people and that includes making financial wellbeing a business-wide priority.
Nimesh actively led the search for a new financial wellbeing partner for their employees and he chose to work with Octopus MoneyCoach to realise his vision.
“I’ve been blown away by the response within Blick Rothenberg in just the first few months,” he says. “I have never received so many messages of thanks from our people, and I believe this will make a big difference to people’s lives at a time of financial anxiety.”
The Money Taboo
While Blick Rothenberg is filled with qualified accountants and financial professionals, the leadership team knows that personal finance can be a difficult subject for everyone. “Even for accountants, financial management and money can be a taboo subject. Very few quality conversations are had,” Nimesh says.
Neasa McNulty, who works with large financial services firms to implement financial wellbeing programs, says, “In professional services and financial services, there can be an additional level of pressure and guilt surrounding personal finance. Employees often say ‘I feel like I should know this, but…’ There’s not always a safe space to talk about your own financial goals and how to reach them.”
She says that in industries where there’s a focus on serving others, there can be a pattern of employees not taking time to look after their own. “You’re busy and you don’t feel you have time to go home and create a spreadsheet for your own finances. So you don’t give yourself the space to apply what you know to your own personal situation.”
Creating quality time and space for employees was a key ingredient to Nimesh’s vision for financial wellbeing at Blick Rothenberg. “This isn’t only about the financial investment we’re making to give everyone their own 1-to-1 coach. It’s about the time we’re giving them as well. We want people to use work time, to take an hour with their coach and even bring their partner in as well if they want.”
Seamlessly Supporting Employees
In a world where many financial benefits suffer from low engagement, the simplicity of the employee experience has also stood out to the team at Blick Rothenberg. “People are talking about how it’s such an easy experience – which is really important, because if these things are difficult, then you shy away from it. Your coach emails you, you choose a slot in their diary and then, you’ve got a 1-to-1 meeting in less than a week or so.” When Blick Rothenberg announced the new benefit, over 65% of employees met with their coach.
And now it’s a key benefit for new joiners too. “It’s really standing out for new joiners. They’re surprised that we’re taking such a great interest in their own financial wellbeing as part of our wider wellbeing agenda.”
Perhaps most of all, Nimesh is excited to see the way conversations about financial health are being normalised across the company. “People are talking about this benefit in the coffee areas and in their team meetings.”
Employees are now even coming directly to their CEO to talk about their experience. “I spoke to one colleague and she told me she’s saving more money by having one less night out per month and putting it into her pension. It was really refreshing to see that immediate change in thought process and more importantly the conversation being had with me. I think that’s permeating across the entire firm.”