Financial Stress of the Workforce
A lot has been mentioned in the press about the cost of living and the difficulties it is having on everyone. It is not only affecting those who are not working or on benefits, but everyone. Employed people, including myself are seeing an increase in everyday items.
This is true for businesses as well, as we all know utilities, fuel, materials, they are all having an impact to everyday business expenses.
But what about our staff? It is affecting them as well and as an employer, I should be trying to alleviate some of these worries if I can. At the end of the day a happier staff member at home is a happier staff member at work. It is hard to concentrate fully if your head is thinking of other worrying things.
As an employer, we have always aimed at offering a good wage. Most of our staff were paid above the minimum wage, all depending on experience and qualifications. Our laborers were there or there abouts. As a company we used to have our annual wage review at the end of our financial year in February. This year we decided to bring this forward to September.
We decided to give a pay increase of 10% to our lowest paid workers with a reduction of an increase going up to the higher paid staff.
Why did we do this? Primarily to ease the worry that some members of staff were having financially. Bringing the increase forward to before the home fuel increase eased tension for many. This in turn raised moral within the work force and I hope will keep them from looking elsewhere for work. Another reason was that our company’s aim was to be a “living wage” employer. This increase brings all our staff to this level and many above the level of £10.90 per hour or £22,672.00 per year for our forty-hour week.
After attending a workshop run by HR Booth which was focusing on the cost of living for employees. We came away with other ideas that we will be introducing. One example is that our staff have decided against having a Christmas Party this year, instead we will give shopping vouchers to our staff.