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Wellbeing programs can improve QSR performance

Three ways wellbeing programs are proven to positively impact business performance.

Written by
Brad Joffe

You’ve heard the saying before – investing in your people is an investment in your business. It’s easy to dismiss this as a nice sentiment or just a good thing to do if you can, but research is showing that wellbeing programs (which don’t actually require much investment) can make a big difference to the business outcomes of quick service restaurants (QSRs). 

Particularly to:

  • Time it takes to hire
  • Levels of productivity
  • Rate of attrition


Quick context

Challenges due to Covid-19, a growing sense of frustration about stagnant wages and a lack of travelling workers mean many QSRs are struggling to find and keep the right people as they reopen.

But leading businesses are strengthening their employer brand by putting their wellbeing focus front and centre and providing a benefit that employees love. The result? They’re recruiting faster and holding onto employees longer.


1. Recruiting faster

Competition has never been so fierce when it comes to recruitment, with many QSRs looking for ways to set themselves apart. There have been countless reports in the media about the impact this staff shortage is having, with some restaurants offering $10,000 sign-on bonuses while others are having to close several nights a week.

While these quick fixes may aid in the immediate term, they’re unlikely to be a sustainable solution. However, implementing a financial wellbeing program and making it a part of the employee proposition can make a tangible difference.

An analysis of 900 retail and hospitality jobs listed on Indeed.com found those offering our financial wellbeing app and including it in their job descriptions filled jobs within an average of 22 days. In comparison, jobs listed by similar companies that didn’t provide or list a financial wellbeing program took an average of 30 days to fill.

Read the report


2. Increasing productivity 

Recent research showed that two in three workers in hospitality reported a mental health condition in 2020. Financial stress is the leading cause of stress amongst all employees, but particularly among those in hospitality where hours can be sporadic and pay levels are relatively low. One in four workers in the QSR space are moderately or severely financially stressed.

Separate research from AMP found that those severely and moderately financially stressed are ineffective at work for approximately 7.7 hours a week, and absent for a further 1.2 hours a week through sick days. The total cost for the economy? Approximately $30.9bn. 

Using AMP’s numbers, you can calculate the approximate cost to your business:

Average salary x number of employees x 463 (8.9 hours a week x 52 weeks) = the cost of financial stress.

This is a cautious estimate. Another survey from AMP found that hospitality workers are the most financially stressed in the country. In fact, hospitality workers are 86% more stressed than the national average, meaning those costs are likely to be much higher.

Financial shortfalls are one of the most frequent and stressful financial problems that employees face. EY found that seven in 10 employees regularly face financial shortfalls and that for three-quarters this has a significant impact on their overall wellbeing.

Instant access to earned wages can help bridge these shortfalls without forcing employees to resort to high-cost credit. An analysis of over 1 million transactions and anonymous interviews with 2,200 by impact measurement company 60 Decibels found that after using our app:

  • One in two people find planning ahead and budgeting easier
  • Seven in 10 people feel more in control of their finances
  • Almost nine in 10 people reduce their reliance on payday loans

You can read the results in full in our latest Impact Assessment


3. Reducing attrition 

The great resignation is believed to be underway and impacting many industries. Surveys from Microsoft and PwC found 40 per cent and 38 per cent (respectively) of workers expected to leave their jobs in the next 12 months.

Making sure employees feel valued and understood is key to retention and we see this goes beyond just pay. Before the pandemic, one in four gen z employees expected their employers to provide flexibility, with this number likely to have increased significantly in the time since.

This could explain the trend towards flexible pay - an avenue for flexibility for customer-facing workers who are unable to work from home. Research from Kronos found that more than half of employees (57%) say they would work harder and stay longer at a company that offers earned wage access, with no significant difference between hourly (58%) and salary (56%) employees.

An Ipsos MORI analysis of Earnd’s parent company Wagestream found that employee retention rates were on average 5 percentage points higher in the 12 months after the financial wellbeing platform was implemented. On average, businesses using Earnd reduce their rate of attrition by 16% by making the switch.


What next?

The results to your business and people can be meaningful.


See more about the impact your business can have by partnering with Earnd.

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