The impact of the cost of living crisis is being felt by everyone and affects various aspects of life. According to a report by The Mental Health Foundation, UK adults are sleeping less, seeing friends less often and exercising less, which can have a significant impact on their mental wellbeing. Furthermore, financial worries faced by most individuals are also affecting their ability to perform well at work. With increasing worries about food and energy costs, people are becoming more stressed and suffering from poor mental health. The negative effects are not limited to employees, but also impact employers as a whole.
Recent research by the Employee Benefits Consultancy, Drewberry reveals that nearly half of UK employees (47%) agree that their mental health has been impacted by the cost of living. This is an alarming statistic as financial worries can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress which in turn, leads to a drop in motivation and productivity. The survey further reveals that 21% of employees acknowledge that the cost of living crisis is affecting their performance at work, causing an increase in absence and a notable decrease in their employees’ ability to work.
Unfortunately, the survey also found that employees feel let down by their employers during this crisis. More than half of the employees surveyed think that their employer is not doing enough to support them. Insufficient support is a cause of unhappiness for employees, with 31% of respondents saying that lack of support is what makes them unhappy at work. This does not bode well for companies, as job dissatisfaction can lead to increased turnover, decreased performance, and a low quality of work.
Being an employer goes beyond providing an annual salary, and caring for your employees is crucial if you want to create a happy, productive workforce, and keep your staff. The benefits of supporting your employees are well recognised, including increased productivity, better staff retention and reduced sick leave. The strikes that occurred in the public sector in the UK illustrate what happens when staff feels undervalued at work, emphasizing the importance of caring for your employees’ wellbeing. Although you might not be able to offer pay rises during this crisis, there are several valuable things you can do, according to Drewberry.
When Drewberry asked employees what support they want from their employer, they found that 67% of employees would like a pay rise, 25% want one-off payments to combat the cost of living, 23% want an increase in remote working options, 16% want travel subsidy to help with commuting costs, and 16% said free food and drink in the office would be supportive. Although these may cost a business to put in place, they provide value to your employees. Listening to their needs can help increase retention, attendance and build a positive workplace culture leading to an engaged and productive team.
Based on this data, the following benefits may be beneficial for your team:
– One-off cost of living payments
– Subsidised meals in the workplace
– Flexible working options to support individual employee needs
– Financial wellbeing benefits, such as discounts and rewards and financial advice
– Salary sacrifice arrangements, like cycle to work schemes and workplace pension contributions
– Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)
Knowing which employee benefits to offer and how to implement them can be a challenge. However, many companies can review your existing perks and help add more. Drewberry, for instance, helps businesses ensure staff gets the best value, using its extensive knowledge of the employee benefits market.
If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to read an article on Small Business about whether your employees are using the free services that come with their benefits.