Employers are becoming increasingly connected. The workplace is a more empathetic and human environment today, with more consideration paid to well-being, whether physical, emotional, or mental.
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Many business bosses will be in a great position to protect their workforce during all the cost-of-living crisis concerns. Such intervention is needed, too. At the start of the year, it was reported that a quarter of UK households had no savings, with a fifth unable to last a month should the main breadwinner find themselves without work.
Of course, businesses have concerns all of their own. If you’re a company boss yourself, it might not seem feasible for you to step in and provide support. However, with some creative thinking and diligent proactivity, you can do plenty. Read on for a list of ideas.
Arrange Widespread Discounts
You may have many contacts as an entrepreneur. It could be time to orchestrate some useful deals that benefit not just your firm’s prospects but also your workers. The range of products and services the closest members of your network offer could help your employees immensely.
Make a list of suppliers and vendors who you have the strongest affinity with. They may be more likely to consider your requests when approaching them in the hopes of negotiating discounts for your employees. Whether it’s food or gym memberships, any leeway will help.
Some of these vendors can be easier to convince than others. To succeed in negotiations, you may need to:
1. Stressful the mutual benefits of these dynamics – you may need to compromise to have things work out for your workers. You should also define the nature of the discount you’re looking for; e.g. bulk purchase agreements, loyalty schemes, first dibs on promotions, and percentage discounts, extended warranties, free trials.
2. Know what your employees need – Don’t negotiate for anything and everything. Instead, try to gain a consensus from your workforce about where most of their money is being spent, and see if you can focus on securing discounts in that area. Such clarity can strengthen your bargaining position.
3. Document the agreement you come to – A written record will help you trace back the offer discounts and provide additional assurances to your workers. It may also be a legal obligation depending on the nature of the deal struck.
4. Keep monitoring the situation – Personal and professional circumstances can change regularly. A great discount one month might be less important the next. Check in with your vendors and colleagues to see if any more can be done and interim periods.
As you can see, arranging discounts for your workers outside the business is more than asking for favours. You’ll need to provide value on your side, too and ensure fruitful business opportunities are born from these proposals.
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Suggest Salary Sacrifice Schemes
How could sacrificing a portion of a salary help workers save money? Well, in many ways, actually, in the right context. Things aren’t as bad as they first might sound!
Let’s use electric cars as an example. An electric car salary sacrifice scheme means your workers can lease an electric vehicle and save up to 40% with the right provider. It adds a bit of shine to any employee benefits package you have underway and involves no upfront costs. Thousands of pounds can be saved here, with new electric cars, motor insurance, and all routine servicing and maintenance available at the lowest prices.
Many people will want to lead more eco-friendly lives, even if it means their personal finances may take something of a knock in the process. Given what’s at stake, these decisions are a moral imperative, so anything you can do to help alleviate the financial pressures often tied up with going green should be explored.
It’s not just about dodging a hefty purchase price, either. Electric cars can be more expensive but far more affordable to run. After all, they don’t require anywhere near as much maintenance as their regular vehicular counterparts, so costs can be kept way down in that respect as well. Leasing electric vehicles as part of a salary sacrifice scheme could set off a chain reaction of further money-saving opportunities.
We concede that on-demand pay schemes can be very hard for employers to manage. That said, it can be worth giving these strategies a go because when you get them right, they can be extraordinarily beneficial to your workers.
Much like barbers and babysitters, on-demand pay involves paying workers immediately when they perform certain tasks instead of providing a salaried amount at the end of the month. It’s worth noting that these solutions are becoming more attractive in the workspace, though employers understandably have their concerns too.
There are a few ways on-demand pay can help workers save money, including:
1. Encouraging them to get into the habit of putting money into savings accounts more regularly and budgeting more often.
2. Making workers less dependent on credit cards, loans, and similar payment methods, which, in turn, can reduce the likelihood of them accruing debt.
3. Helping workers dodge extortionate overdraft fees.
4. Supporting workers in making rent, mortgage, and bill payments on time, avoiding late fees.
Not many workplaces offer on-demand pay in the grand scheme of things, but it’s easy to see why those that do are much-loved by the staff. If you can be flexible, your worker’s financial standing is sure to improve.
Promote a Healthier Work-Life Balance
Burnout is expensive. While some employers might complain that people are becoming ‘too soft’, overworking staff indeed comes with a hefty price tag.
You might be surprised to learn that work-related stress costs the UK economy £28bn a year, according to recent research. If people are exhausted, they may take time out from work and change jobs (potentially suffering periods of little to no pay in the process) or consult expensive well-being services like spas and therapists more regularly.
Some people can take the NHS for granted and assume everything concerning well-being is free, but the fact of the matter is that simply isn’t true. Even if people were to use the NHS, the institution is on its knees, as has been widely reported in the mainstream media recently. Going private for any health-related matter is more likely today for those that can even thinly afford it, especially when there’s an urgent need.
Of course, self-care should be promoted often, and it’s right to engage with services when needed. As an employer, though, if you create better working conditions, workers may feel less inclined to spend more on additional support from elsewhere.
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Integrate Financial Wellness Resources
Financial Wellness can be explored digitally or in person. What matters is your workers feel more equipped to get their money under control.
The three best strategies for promoting financial wellness include:
1. Accessing online retirement calculators.
2. Encouraging workers to utilise employee assistance programmes often provide one-on-one financial counselling with an expert leading proceedings.
3. Recommending multifaceted financial wellness platforms, helping with everything from budgeting to debt repayment.
You could point employees in the right direction from a distance. However, it’s better to integrate these resources into your workplace infrastructure to build a culture of support and financial accountability at your firm. Your employees will know that you’re looking out for them, but at the same time, you can guard their privacy and not directly interfere in their personal circumstances overmuch through third-party services.