With the cost of living on the rise, it is likely that many employees are struggling with financial pressures.
Financial concerns can cause significant stress in employees, impairing their performance and reducing their quality of life. Therefore, it is important for employers to take steps to support affected employees where they can.
With such steep price inclines and living demands, 87% of adults in the UK reported an increase in their cost of living in April 2022 (reported by the Office of National Statistics), therefore, it is crucial to find the best outcome for you and your team.
1. Pay Rises
Pay rises are extremely popular within many companies right now, in a bid to match the rapid rate of inflation. The national living wage is arguably very far from what a ‘real living wage’ should be, with many people on the national living wage struggling massively to pay bills or have any secure income.
Opting into the ‘real living wage’, which is a voluntary scheme which is thought to match the cost of living standards, will make your business pay rate more competitive and ensure that your employees aren’t struggling as much in comparison to the standard living wage.
Those in a position to do so are also putting salary increases into place, with pay rises thought to match the increase in living costs. This would help to stabilise employees’ wages in real terms and release some of the stress that is being caused by increased bills.
2. Introduce Cash Rewards or Benefits
Earning some extra cash in hard times like these could motivate your employees and make their home lives easier too, all while producing high-quality work for your business and making the working day more fun.
Cash rewards through competitions or by running incentives are a great way of introducing rewards for doing a brilliant job at work – for example, praising those that have gone above and beyond while at work, helping others out, excelling at targets and hitting KPIs. This will not only excite more motivation within the workplace but give your employees an extra helping hand when it comes to the current cost increases.
These incentives don’t have to only be cash, they could be in the form of free Wi-fi at home, lunch for a week, food shopping vouchers or vouchers for popular retailers. All those little things can make someone’s week, or take off a bit of stress so they can be in a healthy working environment and your employees can enjoy their home life too.
3. Create a Supportive Environment
With such a large amount of external stress, the workplace should be somewhere you can go for comfort and support, knowing that your colleagues and boss would help you in case of a financial emergency or just for some emotional support during the crisis is highly beneficial for your employee.
Creating an environment where it isn’t ‘taboo’ or uncommon to speak about life problems is a great way of making your employees feel like they are not alone. Knowing that you can rely on someone for a word of advice, some extra financial support or just some guidance within the new increased living, will give you the reassurance that you are not the only one going through these issues.
As a boss or manager, asking how your employees are if they are struggling and checking in with them is a crucial part of being a great leader as it not only makes you more personable but ensures that if your employees are struggling, they don’t have to suffer alone. Consequently, you can discuss options to help aid their issues such as offering overtime hours, extra work, pay rises, financial advice or even just a shoulder to cry on.
One of the main factors of the cost of living increase is the rise in fuel, both diesel and petrol, making it extremely expensive for some to travel to and from work. Alongside public transport strikes and many businesses having offices where public transport is not a choice, the rise in fuel costs has made it extremely difficult to afford to commute to work 5 days a week, with the majority now wishing for a flexible hybrid working method.
Working with a flexible method will give your employees the choice to commute if they wish to do so, or to work from home without having to pay extra for lunch, fuel and the trip home while completing work in the comfort of their home.
Of course, still being in-office will build more connections and allow your employees to bounce ideas, however, a hybrid working method which would give people the choice seems most suitable when taking into consideration the increase in the cost of living.
Making sure that your employee’s needs are being fulfilled during a cost of living crisis is extremely difficult, so we hope that our guide has given you sufficient ideas on how to ensure your employees feel reassured and comforted during this hard period of time.
If you apply suitable pay increases, cash rewards and incentives, and openly give advice about the issues projecting through Britain, your employees will feel as though you are supportive and they are not alone!
For information about how Zest can help you and your team through the cost of living crisis, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.