Two-thirds of staff set to resign over cost of living: here’s how to help

Kate Palmer - HR Advice and Consultancy Director

September 06 2022

As cost-of-living rises, your staff may be more on edge than ever. It’s a difficult time. They may be experiencing stress, financial worries, and uncertainty about the future.

According to HR Grapevine, two-thirds of staff would leave their current jobs in order to secure better financial support during the current crisis.

To help put your staff at ease, here’s how you can support them when things get tough…

1. Provide wellbeing support

If you have an employment assistance program (EAP), now is the time to promote it. An EAP provides wellbeing support to staff in the form of:

  • face-to-face counselling
  • a confidential advice line
  • accessible self-help resources

If your worker is going through a hard time, either personally or professionally, support can go a long way. Having an impartial person to talk to and a 24-hour advice line could massively help someone who’s struggling with their mental health.

The cost-of-living crisis is likely to cause stress and upset in your workforce, so take advantage of your EAP service if you have one. And if not, consider setting one up.

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2. Offer pay rises

If you can offer staff a pay rise, there are lots of benefits to doing so.

As cost-of-living rises, your staff might continue to struggle under financial hardship. So, they might feel they have to start looking for higher-paid roles elsewhere.

If you can offer your staff a pay rise, you could help boost:

  • retention – offering higher pay is likely to keep your staff loyal to you
  • morale – supporting staff financially could reduce their stress and lift their spirits overall
  • your reputation – a pay rise looks good to prospective hires and you could show this off as a company perk

3. Set up a financial wellbeing policy

If your staff are struggling to manage their costs, you could set up a financial wellbeing policy that could include:

  • helpful resources on financial management
  • advice on how to budget and where to look for the best deals
  • details of financial support you offer

Your workers might not know where to start, so providing this information could help them build a better relationship with their finances.

When your staff have a policy to refer to and know there’s support available to them, it may calm their money worries.

And if your staff feel more in control of their financial situation, it’s likely to help them stay focussed and productive at work.

Need to set up a financial wellbeing policy?

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4. Consider flexible working

Staff who commute to work may worry about rising fuel costs or increased spending on public transport. By offering flexible working, you may be able to help staff save money on transport and your business on energy bills.

How? Flexible working might involve allowing staff to work from home - either full-time or a few days a week. That way, they don’t have to spend as much on travelling or childcare, and you don’t have to use as much electricity if they’re not in the workplace.

Not to mention, flexible working is becoming increasingly desirable to job seekers. So, offering this might not only be a financial aid but also an incentive to stay with you for the long-term.

5. Create fun activities

If your staff are cutting back on spending, they might be having to cut back on doing things they enjoy, like going out with friends or personal hobbies.

As a result, they might be feeling a bit deflated. So, it might be a good idea to think about setting up some activities and socials at work. This can be cost-effective, like having a weekly board game night or a book club. Or, if you can afford to, you could provide free drinks after work and an opportunity for your workers to socialise.

It just gives staff an opportunity to do something fun without having to worry about money. On top of this, socials help nurture staff morale and encourage team bonding.

6. Give rewards & recognition

Giving staff recognition for the good work they do can massively boost morale in your workplace. It’s important to make your workers feel seen and appreciated. This not only motivates them to keep succeeding but also makes them more likely to stay with your company.

You could introduce perks like:

  • free car-parking
  • travel ticket loans
  • free breakfast/lunch/snacks
  • remote working allowances
  • commission or bonus schemes (if you can and it’s appropriate to their role)

This helps staff save money (or earn a bit extra) and also gives them an incentive to stay engaged with the work – so it becomes a win-win for you both.

Offering rewards to staff in a time of financial difficulty can help keep them satisfied and loyal. Your workers are far less likely to be stressed and looking for other jobs when they get the support and recognition they need from you.

Don’t let cost-of-living crumble your future…

As cost of living rises, you might be worried about the impact on your business and staff.

If you’re in a position to offer employee incentive schemes, pay rises, training, or flexible working, your Peninsula advisers will make sure you’re never without:

  • expert advice – for money-saving ideas you can use to support your staff
  • up–to-date documentation – to set up a financial wellbeing policy that gives staff the information they need to save and budget
  • EAP – enabling you to provide 24/7 professional wellbeing support to your staff who might be struggling under the weight of money troubles

And if you are facing difficult decisions like making a redundancy, you’ll need to follow procedure to do right by your staff and protect yourself from claims. This means acting consistently and checking your redundancy policy is up to date. If in doubt, get in touch.

Not a Peninsula client? Get your most pressing queries answered by a professional by calling 0800 028 2420 for a no-obligation chat.

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