8 ways to support employees through the cost-of-living crisis

This Debt Awareness Week, we’re shining a light on the cost-of-living crisis. Employees are looking to their place of work for financial education, resources and reassurance. And they want rewards and benefits that speak to them and their personal circumstances.

For many people, 2024 has started off with a greater focus on financial wellbeing. Research shows that around 6 in 10 adults are spending less on non-essentials because of inflation, and a third of adults are finding it difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments.

Employers can play a positive role in helping their colleagues build financial resilience, but knowing where to start can be tricky. There’s an endless list of initiatives and solutions that could be implemented, but not all are feasible. The main thing is that employers show a commitment to supporting employees through the cost-of-living crisis and contribute to their overall wellbeing and satisfaction at work.

It starts with you

Here are eight realistic, actionable steps you can take to support your employees through challenging times.

Review your compensation and benefits: Ensure fair compensation and benefits, including inclusive health insurance, regular salary reviews and competitive pension contributions. Paid time off can also help alleviate financial burdens.

Normalise flexible working: As more companies are mandating a full time return to the office, it’s worth remaining flexible. Not only will this save your employees money on commuting, but they’re also more likely to stick around. Remote work, flexible hours and compressed work weeks can help employees achieve a better work-life balance and showcase their best self both inside and outside of work.

Prioritise financial wellness: Provide workshops, seminars or accessible online courses on financial literacy. The more resources you can offer, the more likely people are to engage and self-serve for information. It shows your commitment to improving company culture, too.

Offer subsidised services and discounts: If you’re not already offering great discounts on services and products, now is the time to start! From discounted gym memberships and cinema tickets to cashback schemes, anything you can offer at a discounted rate will help to alleviate the pressure of everyday expenses.

Review your employee assistance programmes (EAP): Do you have the right EAP in place? Providing confidential health and wellbeing support for your people has incredible benefits including reducing stress levels, absences and lowering the risk of burnout.

Encourage professional development: Invest in employees’ development to increase earning potential and minimise skill gaps. They’ll appreciate being supported in their career journey – whether that’s through additional training or up-skilling to support colleagues in a new area of the business.

Maintain transparent communication: Keep employees informed about the company’s financial health and relevant policy changes. Transparent communication can help build trust and manage expectations.

Ask for feedback: And finally, offer two-way communication. Regularly gather feedback so you can tailor the support and services you offer. It’s crucial to have an open line of communication between the business and employees during this cost-of-living crisis.

If you found this helpful but still aren’t sure where to begin, our financial wellbeing expertise might save you some time…  


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