Wagestream was founded in 2018 when CEO Josh Vernon saw one of his friends get into trouble after using a payday loan to buy a fridge. Over the past 3 years Wagestream has grown to become the mission-led responsible experts in financial wellbeing, providing innovative solutions such as earned wage access, pre-pay savings and 1:1 live chat financial coaching to solve the number one concern of hospitality employees - financial stress.

Backed by social impact charities and industry bodies – Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) Social Tech Trust, Barrow Cadbury Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Fair by Design and Big Society Capital – it’s our mission to make money simple not stressful, ensuring everyone has the tools they need to secure their financial futures. We support more than 750,000 employees across the globe at organisations such as Hungry Jack’s, Pizza Hut, Brewdog, Leon and many more.

The secret sauce for improving financial wellbeing: an interview with Jenny McKie, Chief People Officer at Hungry Jack’s

In the wake of 18 months of uncertainty and the ongoing challenges to fill open roles, building wellbeing and employee engagement is top of mind for all leading QSRs.

But while it’s easy to know what you want to achieve, finding the ways to achieve it can be more complex.

For too long, wellbeing efforts from employers have seen low take up rates and had minimal impact. But by tackling the key concerns and stresses through useful tools, QSRs can change this in 2022.

We chatted to Jenny McKie, Chief People Officer at Hungry Jack’s, about what they’re doing to improve financial wellbeing and why it’s working so well.

What made Hungry Jack’s decide to focus on financial wellbeing?

At Hungry Jack's, we sell burgers, but we are in the people business, so it’s really important for us to ensure we have a happy, healthy and engaged workforce.

These days, employees are looking for more than just pay. They want real benefits – things that make a real difference to their daily lives and make things easier for them in general.

So what did you decide to do?

We partnered with financial wellbeing app Wagestream. One of the tools Wagestream provides is earned wage access. This means our people have access to their pay when they need it. That means prior to their pay cycle, whether that be fortnightly or monthly, so they can reduce financial stress by accessing their funds immediately.

Was there an appetite for a financial wellbeing benefit amongst your employees?

We had 21% uptake within the first week, which increased to 23% in the first month. I was really surprised – to have that level of uptake within the first few weeks of launching Wagestream was fantastic.

What kind of feedback have you had from your employees since implementing Wagestream?

The feedback we've received has been amazing because of the simple fact that employees can now access their pay when they need it. This was especially the case for our monthly paid employees – just having access to their next pay in the last days of their pay cycle rather than having to go into their savings has been incredible.

We've also had feedback that just knowing they can get access to their money when they need it has reduced financial stress and supported their overall wellbeing too.

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