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How can employers ease the cost of living burden for their people?

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

If you live in the UK right now, it won’t surprise you to hear that 9 in 10 adults are reporting that their cost of living has gone up. And whilst we wait to hear if the Government is going to put their money where their mouth is and do something to ease the burden, there’s an opportunity for employers to really show their people they care.

It’s hard to think about in the midst of a hot summer, but things are set to get harder for people as winter approaches. Energy bills are expected to soar again and that’s going to put more pressure on people, many of whom are struggling now.

More than 40% of people expect their standard of living to get worse. What does that look like in your business? Do the math. 10 people, 100 people, 1000 people? That’s a significant chunk of colleagues carrying an awful lot of stress, worry and fear around with them. Colleagues trying to get the job done while also exhausting their emotional and rational reserves as they try and make the right daily choices that will help them eek through another week.

Choices like…

  • Shall I go into the office more often so I can stay warm? Will the saving in my fuel bill be greater than my travel cost to get to the office?

  • Can I afford to travel into work? How many hours will I need to work to recoup that cost?

  • Can I use less childcare so I can save a bit of money and work more flexibly to manage it?

  • Am I allowed to work a second job and will my manager let me leave 30 minutes early every Friday so I can get to it?

  • Do I really need to wear ‘office’ clothes to work? That’s an expense I can’t justify.

The fact is: there is an expectation for businesses to act.

“Business must now be the stabilizing force delivering tangible action and results on society’s most critical issues.”
(Edelman Trust Barometer 2022)

So, here it is. One of society’s most critical issues. What next? How can employers step up?

There’s no silver bullet here. Every employee has different needs, worries and scenarios they are trying to manage. And every business has their own business plan, governance arrangements and financial obligations to meet. But don’t let that put you off. Let those things form the framework for the conversation within your business and with your people. And I use the word conversation intentionally. Ask questions. Listen. Ask more questions. Find out what would be most helpful to your people over the coming months. What would help them navigate the uncertainty ahead? And then think about how and if you can provide that. The last thing you want to do is ride out as the knight in shining armour with a blanket offer for everyone that really doesn’t help anyone.

Maybe what people really need is flexibility.

Maybe they need a short-term boost to their pay.

Maybe they need access to their pay on a weekly instead of monthly basis.

Maybe it’s financial advice.

Maybe it’s support to manage their growing anxiety.

Whatever it is, investing in your people is always going to be the right thing to do. If you haven’t started planning for what’s on the horizon and what that means for your people, now is a great time to start the conversation. Now is a great time to show your people you care.

If I can help you navigate those conversation, please get in touch.



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