Millions of employees are grappling with the cost-of-living as food, energy and fuel prices push inflation to a 40-year high. Conscious of the challenging times, many employers are looking at ways to help their people as financial woes take centre stage. We look at how you can support employees as the cost-of-living crisis rumbles on.
If possible, consider wage increases
Rising living costs have resulted in unhappy workers worrying about money, taking on more hours and extra jobs to make ends meet. If you can, pay your staff the real Living Wage or consider wages increases. Set by the Real Living Wage Foundation, the RLW is calculated in line with the true cost of living and can help workers achieve a reasonable standard of living. At a time when businesses are also faced with a shortage of talent, demonstrating that you are a socially conscious employer can help you stand out to candidates and retain valuable employees.
Introduce a new rewards strategy
Increasing wages may be an option for large organisations, but not all can offer pay rises. Revising or introducing reward schemes can also help with the financial well-being of your employees. As well as direct monetary reward programmes like bonuses and commission, employers can also sign up to reward platforms and apps that provide a range of benefits from pre-paid supermarket cards and shopping codes to dental support, well-being screenings, and free flu jabs.
Consider a financial well-being policy
A financial well-being policy does not have to be complex and can simply involve directing employees to free information on debt guidance, benefits, and money advice services. Keep in mind that money is a personal issue and employees may prefer to discuss things on a one-to-one basis. Ongoing money worries can have a big impact on mental health and affect employees while they are work, training managers to handle potential finance-related issues will help your employees feel supported. Your policy may also involve the offer of counselling.
Low-key work socialising
Socialising is expensive but work socials often do good for employee morale and team spirit. Strike the balance by hosting gatherings at your offices with refreshments included or ask your employees to bring in their own drinks. This removes the possibility of over-spending on work events your staff members may feel obliged to attend.
Reconsider your flexible working options
Offering flexible working can go a long way in supporting employees too. Job sharing, working from home, hybrid working, and more flexible hours can help your teams work more productively at times that suit them. This balance not only alleviates stress, but it can open the doors for employees who want to progress to positions where they can earn more money.
A final point
Consumer price rises, the aftermath of the pandemic and continued economic uncertainty paint a rather gloomy picture, but there are cost-effective ways employers can help. However you choose to support your employees, your actions will convey your appreciation of the challenging times, and enhance your reputation as a responsible employer.