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Supporting Employees through the Cost of Living Crisis

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

The cost of living crisis is having a devastating impact on millions of people, but employers can take steps to better support their employees. The first step is paying the real Living Wage and ensuring that line managers don't shy away from having conversations with employees about money. HR departments should also be equipped with the tools they need to help their staff make the right choices for themselves, and businesses need to think more broadly about how they can support their employees' financial wellbeing.


The first place to start is by paying the real Living Wage.


There's no one-size-fits-all solution to supporting your employees through the cost of living crisis. But you can start by paying the real Living Wage, which is calculated on a region-by-region basis.

Your employees deserve at least enough money to cover their basic costs of living: food and housing, plus some money left over for leisure activities, savings and emergencies. The Living Wage Foundation calculates this amount in every region across Britain based on what employees need to earn for a decent standard of living for them and their families -- not just "enough" to get by on, but enough that they can thrive and succeed in their jobs. By paying your staff more than minimum wage, you're helping them do just that!

A quick google search will assist you in finding what the living wage is in your specific region.


Second, line managers should be equipped with the confidence and the tools to have proper conversations about money with employees.


The second piece of the puzzle is for line managers to be equipped with the confidence and tools to have proper conversations about money with their employees. It's no secret that talking about money can be difficult, but there are ways to make it less so.

Line managers should be trained in how not only how to talk about finances but also how they can support their workers during tough times. Line managers should understand which financial issues are most common within their team, what resources are available in the business, and how they can help employees access support from their employer if needed (e.g., flexible working or alternative payment methods).

By providing this type of training at all levels throughout your organization—from board members down through frontline staff—you'll ensure that everyone knows who needs what kind of help when it comes time for them ask for it (and do something about it).


Third, HR departments should make sure employees know what support is out there for them.


It's not enough to just have a policy in place. HR departments need to make sure their employees know what support is out there for them, how to access it and who should be involved in that process.

For example, if your company has its own employee assistance program (EAP) or other counseling services through a third party vendor, make sure the employee knows about these resources and how they can access them. If your organization offers financial planning workshops or training on managing debt, consider providing some type of online portal where employees can go for information about these services instead of hard copies that get lost in piles on desks or papers stuffed into binders or files.


Finally, employers need to think more broadly about how they can help their employees' financial well-being.


In addition to the obvious ways that employers can help their employees—like offering raises, giving them more time off, and providing resources like paid sick days—there are several other ways.

Employers can give their employees financial education. Many people don't know how to manage money or plan for the future, and this lack of knowledge leads them into bad decisions that end up hurting them financially. If you're an employer who wants to help your employees' financial well-being but aren't sure where to start, this is a great place! There are lots of free resources out there that teach basic personal finance principles in an easy-to-understand way. You could also consider hiring someone from the community to come in once a month for workshops on topics like budgeting, savings goals, debt repayment strategies and retirement planning.


Employers can also help their employees plan for life after work by offering access to other benefits like health insurance or life insurance policies at discounted rates (if they're available). This type of benefit provides peace of mind both during employment and after it ends by giving workers coverage in case something happens unexpectedly while they're still working full time but not yet retired with sufficient savings accumulated over time.


Summary


We hope this article has given you some ideas about how to support your employees. It is a tough time for many people and we believe that it is important to do what we can to help out.

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