The rising cost of living – how can employers support their employees?

The hard facts – life is getting expensive.

From a lengthy global pandemic to the ever-broadcasted conflict of war, it seems like everywhere you turn you are faced with something that is contributing to increasing the cost of living. Whether you are taking the hit in your weekly grocery shop or finding yourself reconsidering indulging in that long-awaited weekend getaway, there is no doubt that the cost of living in Australia has risen. A recent survey conducted in May 2022 found that one in four Australian’s are struggling to make ends meet with the rising cost living. And for those that are not experiencing it just yet have expressed that they expect they will be faced with the same struggle if the cost of living continues to rise.

Businesses are not exempt from feeling the wrath of these uncertain and costly times, employers should not be so quick to dismiss their ability to help cushion the rising cost of living for their employees. In fact, with the current shortage in the labour market, employers could view their ability as an opportunity to improve employee retention. Afterall can you afford to take on the recruitment cost to replace an existing employee?

So, how can employer’s support their staff during these uncertain and financially challenging times?

Strategies to support employee’s financial health – and it’s not a pay rise.

Implement flexible working

Although flexible working has been made a normal practice in many businesses already, those who have steered employees back to the office full time may like to consider implementing a more permanent flexible working policy.

Working from home can help offset employee costs in many ways. Particularly, working from home can help reduce employee’s commuting costs, especially if they live a considerable drive away. Although it may not provide an instant solution, when considering the reduction in fuel costs employees will experience in the long term, the savings can be significant. Same goes for the Public Transport costs. Small savings here and there all add up.

Encourage alternative methods of transport

For those days employees do come into the office, or if flexible working is not an option, employers can consider encouraging employees to take advantage of cheaper alternative methods of transport as opposed to their own personal motor vehicle. Some examples of this can include taking public transport or employees carpooling together.

This suggestion goes further than helping to reduce employee living costs as it can also present as a business initiative in reducing the carbon footprint of their employees, a win for employees and the environment.

Offer financial education

A great resource that can be provided to employees that is invaluable, is the power of knowledge. Employers can help provide financial education resources around saving, budgeting, investing and more.

Providing employees with foundational financial skills can contribute to a long-term impact on their financial decisions. It can position them to make confident and informed decisions regarding their finances as well as opportunities that may arise. Financial education resources can be provided via access to online courses, on-site presentations, or access to a free financial advice line.

Subsidies and discounts

Finally, although not practical in every industry, employers that can offer a subsidy or discount on their product or service is another great way to mitigate the rising daily costs of living employees are facing. This can range from food businesses providing discounted meals to employees during their breaks, or fitness related businesses providing a free gym membership to their employees. Although these contributions may not be ‘life-changing,’ they will be greatly valued by employees that are feeling the wrath of the current economy’s climate.

Obviously if you’re looking to introduce some of these measures then it is recommended that you put a process or procedure in place to effectively mange this. That is were we can help, reach out to Now Actually and we can talk through a strategy with you.



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