We have been surrounded by negative talk around the cost of living crisis for the last few months and it’s not getting any easier for both businesses or staff.
Employees are suffering due to less shifts available and less income to help pay the increasing bills.
As a manager or employer, it’s time to reflect and identify how to help your employees overcome this unstable and uncontrollable situation.
What will we discuss in this blog?
- How to support your staff,
- Tips on how support and actions you can take,
- How to empathise with your staff.
How can you support your staff through this cost of living crisis?
Alleviate their costs where you can afford to
A simple and extremely effective way to help your staff is to cover some of their daily expenses. Some daily expenses you may not even consider a challenge to afford, but for others it can be a struggle, you could help out on;
- Providing staff meals
- Welfare benefits; eg: Hygiene products
- Discounts for gym memberships, bike to work schemes (to reduce travel costs), grocery stores etc,
- Employee Assistance Programmes to ensure they have professional support available when required, reduces their own spend on therapists, seeking other help.
There are lots of options to consider that won’t impact your own expenditure a lot or at all in some cases.
As many of us aren’t taught about financial management in our educational years, we often don’t understand the deeper consequences of inflation increase, impact of oncoming recession and how the economy works.
Provide your staff with the latest information and resources, maybe hold meetings before or after a shift to give your staff the opportunity to ask any questions around these topics and get a better understanding of how they can get through their financial struggles.
Educate them on how they could help themselves, highlight any government schemes or savings with better interest rates.
It may not be part of your daily job, but offering this advice and providing valuable resources around the cost of living crisis will be appreciated by your staff, and remembered!
Introduce a financial wellbeing policy
Protecting and measuring the financial wellbeing of your employees is a moral duty. Your business should have a policy in place to protect your employees and the business itself.
This policy may include:
- Providing resources to governmental advice, like the Money and Pensions Service,
- Ensuring employees are fully aware of their legal and business entitlements,
- Providing insight on monetary challenges & opportunities to all employees.
An effective financial wellbeing policy will ensure your employees understand they can come to a supportive workplace. It allows them to be content, and in turn more productive and engaged at work and lead to better staff retention.
Taking the time to have a conversation with your staff will benefit them. Engaging and listening to their concerns, offering advice where you can will allow them to see you are being a supportive employer and trying to help.
Ask open questions to show you are engaged and empathetic in the conversation, encourage them to approach you with any queries when they have them and that your door is always open for a chat and advice where appropriate.
Reduce financial stigma
Last of all, we all experience worries around money and the cost of living crisis has truly enhanced this. There are those who are open and admit they worry about their finances and those who don’t. Often people can feel embarrassed and it can prevent them from dealing with their financial struggles effectively.
Break the stigma and encourage open discussions around financial situations, create a judgment free work environment so all employees feel comfortable. The last thing you want is an employee with financial struggles leaving their job due to the toxic working environment.
By encouraging your staff to be open and share their own experiences, you can help them realise they are not alone in their struggles.