How to help your employees during the cost of living crisis

Helping employees through the cost of living crisis

As the cost of living in the UK continues to rise, everyone, including your employees, face an increase in monthly spending, and with it, an increase in concern for their future. More than 25% people recently admitted to dipping into savings to cope with price rises, showing just how many and how much people are feeling the pressure. And while everyone is in the same boat as far as price increases are concerned, some of your employees will feel the strain more than others.

While you may feel fairly helpless as an employer, there are a number of things that you can do to make sure your staff feel supported and help relieve some of the pressure of these turbulent financial times. Here are some of our tips to support your employees with their financial well-being.

1. Review your benefits package

One of the most important things an employer can do is make sure its benefits packages are working hard enough for those most in need. It’s not just about the basics – it’s about making sure that employees know what’s on offer and how to access it.

The benefits you offer employees should be more than just a ‘perk’ or an extra added benefit; they should be seen as a core part of your recruitment and retention strategy. While the benefits you offer your employees will be specific to your employee needs, there are a few popular benefits that are worth reviewing if you haven’t already. For example, ‘Cycle to Work’ programmes allow employees to benefit both financially and physically from their commute, discounts to shops, cinemas and restaurants can also help provide support to employee’s work-life balance. Access to childcare support and flexible working hours can help support working parents both financially and logistically and remove a huge amount of stress. 

It’s important not to make the assumption that just because these benefits are popular with other companies that they will be popular with your employees too. If you don’t know what your staff want or need from their benefits, ask them, you may be surprised by some of the answers! 

2. Lunch at the office / Food perks

people having lunch in the office

When it comes to workplace benefits, food is a big deal. There are many ways in which food can make your employees life easier; offering free or subsidized meals, filling up the office pantry, or providing food catering for meetings and events. Offering your employees various food perks can not only help them save cash, it can also help support a nutritious and healthy lifestyle.

Providing lunch for your employees at the office is a great way to show them how much you appreciate them. Furthermore, getting into the office is more expensive, so providing a free lunch can lower the daily cost for your employees. This is even more important to younger employees who don’t have as much money or the right set-up to work from home comfortably compared to more senior colleagues. 

3. Help employees make the most of their savings

someone calculating their finances because of the cost of living crisis

One way to support your employees investment goals is to offer a range of company investment options so that everyone can choose the one that suits them best. Making sure these investment options are communicated with clear and helpful internal communications is key to making sure that these options are inclusive to everyone, regardless of their prior investment knowledge.

Allowing flexible access to pension funds is another great way to help support employees’ savings. Employees should be able to withdraw their pension fund when they need it, but they should also be encouraged to consider how this will impact on their retirement income. Education is key…

4. Provide financial education for your employees

With almost 20% of 18-24-year-olds planning to reduce their pension contributions, education about what impact this can have on your employee’s future is vital, especially at a time when laying the foundations for a stable financial future is so important. Financial education can make a huge difference when it comes to budgeting and saving money and there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to financial literacy across all age groups.

For all these benefits to be impactful, inclusivity is key, this means making sure that everyone has access to the right information and knowledge. Don’t assume that every member of your team reads the FT daily, ask your team if they would benefit from various workshops where they can learn more about different forms of investments and understand pension schemes better.

When putting on educational events for your employees, make sure you appreciate that employees are busy — and they probably don’t want to spend their lunch break learning about investing or how credit cards work — so make sure you’re providing workshops that fit within people’s schedules, or better still, you can provide short lessons via audio or video clips that they can easily digest either on their lunch break or while they’re on the go. Empowering employees with financial knowledge can have a significant impact on their financial situation and future and make them feel more in control during these turbulent times.

Sum up:

Any benefits that you consider will be appreciated by your employees, but it’s always better to do your research first, asking them where they are struggling most and what support they need will help will make sure that your benefits are directed in the most impactful way.

Find out more about how you can offer your employees food perks like office food catering and lunch deliveries through Feedr!