According to research commissioned by employee experience platform Culture Amp, six out of ten employees in the UK believe that their employers should help with the rising cost of living. The findings show that women are considerably more worried about their financial situation than men with 84% stating they are concerned about escalating costs compared to 57% of male respondents.
The survey also revealed a higher level of concern among younger employees with eight out of ten 25-34-year-olds saying they are experiencing a strain on their finances compared with just two-thirds of over-55s.
The findings of this study are worrying and should concern employers who, alongside having a responsibility to promote a culture of safety and wellbeing in the workplace, also need to retain the best team to support their business.
Read on to discover some effective ways procurement and supply chain employers can help their team to weather the cost of living crisis.
Offer a salary increase
An obvious way to support colleagues is to offer a pay rise. Not every company can afford to do this and employers may worry that this oversteps the boundary between the person’s work and their private life. But this could be an effective temporary or permanent way to safeguard your team and show you are committed to their wellbeing.
Improve access to, and knowledge about, the company pension scheme
When times are hard, employees might be tempted to make cuts to long-term schemes like pension schemes. It is up to employers to communicate the value of long-term financial security and to enhance their understanding of how payments can work over time. This includes the option to reduce contributions when they’re feeling the pinch.
Promote a culture of openness
It isn’t always easy to talk about personal issues at work. Team members may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about bringing their problems into a business environment. They might also worry about burdening others or getting special treatment. But, as we know, worries are only compounded if they aren’t discussed.
Make sure your employees know they can come to you, their line manager or HR if they are feeling under pressure or want to air a problem. Naturally, any conversations should be kept confidential and the employee should be given the choice of having the discussion kept off the record.
For businesses that are also feeling the strain of the cost of living crisis, keep in mind that you aren’t necessarily offering an economic lifeline. You are offering a safe space in which employees can communicate what’s on their minds and that they can feel listened to and understood. It can also help you adapt how you monitor and track their progress. If you know they are weighted down by concerns outside of the workplace you can offer some leeway if their performance is impacted in the short term.
Offer sessions in financial education
Not all your employees will have a good grasp of how to manage their finances. Somewhat bafflingly, these skills aren’t taught in schools and many people aren’t offered advice from their family or peers. Ask your colleagues if they would benefit from informal training in managing their finances and then make the appropriate arrangements. This training could be conducted online or through reading resources or you could arrange interactive workshops or learning and development sessions where people can learn more about budgeting, choosing the right saving schemes, dealing with financial stresses and so forth.
There’s a wide range of companies offering these services so have a search around and check with your employees about what content they would find most useful. The chances are they will learn a lot from each other’s experiences as well as from the tutor themselves.
It will also show that you are invested in them and that you are here to help, and that is a huge comfort and reassurance for people. Especially when they are feeling vulnerable.
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