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Cost of living crisis: Get ahead for your team  

Soaring food costs, never-ending bill payments, and rising taxes. It’s called a crisis for a reason.  

Earlier this year we talked about the threat of the cost-of-living crisis, and how it’s affecting your people. But as summer has faded and we’re diving headfirst into winter, the crisis is becoming more real than ever.  

After briefly soaring to £3,549 a year, it’s now been announced that energy bills will be capped at £2,500 for a typical household. It’s better than nothing, but people are still going to struggle this winter. We’ve all heard the jokes about not switching on the heating, but for some, this is a terrifying reality.  

89% of adults in the UK reported an increase in their cost of living in August 2022 – and that includes your people. It’s not just individual households that are affected, but businesses too.  

The crisis may be socio-political, but as an employer, there are things you can do to help your people, and ways to ensure you stay ahead of the game to keep afloat this winter. 

Reviewing pay

Talking about money is always a tricky one, but when inflation is up at 9.9%, it’s a conversation that needs to happen.  

About 25% of employees say that the ability to do their job is being affected by money worries.  Salary increases in line with inflation seem like the obvious solution, but for most organisations, a blanket pay rise north of 5% is just impossible. In fact, many people are missing out on bonuses or taking a salary sacrifice just to help keep the company afloat. But this won’t last for long. 

40% of people who are planning to leave their jobs in the next 12 months are citing pay as a reason. Whilst many organisations are struggling during this time, those who are unaffected are ready to poach your best people. So, how can you prove to your people that they’re worth it?  

Get ahead with learning

It’s not just about money. Make you people loyal by making bold commitments to their careers. You want your people to stay, and whilst pay rises may not be feasible, investing in your people goes a long way.  

43% of people want more learning for personal development and job satisfaction. It’s a tough time we’re dealing with, but to know that your organisation cares about you enough to invest in your development, well that’s a good start. It’s your people that are going to help you survive whatever the next year throws at us, and if they’re ahead of the curve with their learning and development, as well as becoming increasingly satisfied within their roles, you’re more likely to survive, with happier and more efficient people.  

It doesn’t need to be difficult either. Invest in a Learning Management System that will allow your people to learn what and when they want. You can even continuously track progress all in the same place. There’s a reason 72% of global organisations see LMS’ as a competitive advantage. Sounds tempting, right? Find out more here. 

Extra perks

Despite 69% of organisations increasing their benefit spending during the pandemic, only half of employees felt they received the right support at the right time. 

When was the last time you reviewed your employee benefits? Is there anything that could be updated? Does everyone know what’s available and how to access it?  

Today there are so many sites and platforms that can help you provide outstanding benefits that support your employees alongside their pay slips. Discounted weekly shops? Free cinema tickets? Money off phone bills? Cheaper gym memberships?  

Despite the costs rising, your team shouldn’t have to sacrifice their hobbies and social lives. A small perk here and there has a dramatically positive impact on an individual’s monthly spending and allows them to have a bit of fun. You are allowed to enjoy your life after all! 

In fact, the happier and healthier your team are in their personal lives, the more productive and creative they are at work. It really is a win-win. 

Mental health comes first

Perks are nice, money is great, and learning is top. But mental health, no matter what, always comes first.  

Given the deep links between mental health and financial difficulty, the wellbeing implications of this crisis are set to be huge. In fact, 33% of workers say they’re struggling to cope with work, citing the rising cost of living as a key reason for their poor mental health.  

And it’ll cause a ripple effect throughout the organisation because, well, if your team is struggling, productivity will be down, so morale will take a hit, and so on. It’s not your fault as an employer that the cost of living is on the up. But it is your responsibility to ensure you help mitigate the psychological risks.  

PRIORITISE YOUR TEAM’S MENTAL HEALTH 

We’ll forever preach this. It may be easier said than done, but there’s so many ways you can lend a hand to support your team. Listen to your team to find out what will help them during this difficult time. Maybe it is perks or personal development, or maybe it’s receiving financial guidance and budgeting tips. You’ll never know until you ask.  

It’s tough out there, and who knows what else life is going to throw at us. And it’s not always obvious when someone is struggling. But if you’re supporting and listening to each other’s needs, it will ease your team’s minds and hopefully allow them a sense of peace and security. They deserve it.  

Looking to empower and upskill your employees with online learning? Talk to an expert to find out more about our interactive and engaging eLearning courses. 

Written by Claire Moloney

Claire is an enthusiastic and meticulous content writer whose passion is to support growth and continual learning for everyone.

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