Things are feeling very bleak for a lot of us at the moment and we can all feel a bit helpless. The crisis is having a dual impact on employers and our people. But there are things that we as business leaders can do for a fairly small amount of investment which can make a big impact on our teams.
Here are 3 things to to do right now:
A cost-of-living bonus
About 5% of businesses with over 250 employees have offered a cost-of-living bonus (as reported by Sky). These are normally targeted for lower-paid employees and are a very real demonstration that you understand the pressures that your team are facing. Businesses who have taken the lead in this action include Lloyds, Taylor Wimpey, Rolls Royce and HSBC. The lump sum businesses are choosing to bestow are mostly £1000. It’s a gesture which has real meaning and will engender loyalty during this tough period.
Childcare costs are up almost £3000 according to the TUC and Nesta reported last week that 2 in 3 parents are worried about whether they can afford essentials. On top of this nurseries are closing (only 57% of local authorities say they have sufficient childcare places for under 2s) and we’re seeing this have a direct impact on the number of women remaining employed when they become a parent.
By offering any help with childcare costs you are showing true empathy and proving yourself to be an employer who really understands your workforce – as well having a direct impact on talent retention.
With childcare vouchers no longer valid and government support hard to access, the easiest and quickest way to provide this support is through Bubble. Childcare is all booked by parents via the app and employers can pre-load credit for their team – plus there is zero wastage.
Many of us lack a proper understanding of our financial situation and spend very little time planning ahead. You have the power to give your employees a better understanding of debt, pensions and savings through educational events, signposting and coaching. There is still a lot of shame talking about money and by providing education and content you can help your employees feel more confident in their financial decisions.
Some good resources include the Bippit app and the Money Helper Budget Planner. For those struggling with bills and debt making sure that your teams are aware of the help that they can find from Citizens Advice and debt charities like Debtline and StepChange.
There are going to be tough times ahead and this is the time where top employers will show themselves to be thoughtful and confident leaders through real action and support.