When the world around us is constantly changing, it can feel like we’re a little lost. The big picture problems inevitably filter down to our day-to-day and ultimately into our work.
70% of employees have suffered lasting effects because of the last few years of uncertainty. Many of us feel like we’ve lost some of our control. Perhaps many are searching for new jobs as a way to take control when there’s so much uncertainty around us.
Spoiler alert: I am NOT one of them. I’m at 4.5 years with Reward Gateway, and I’ve yet to slow down. But what’s keeping me, and likely, your own employees, from walking out the door?
Three pillars I stand by are great job design, a safe work environment and my incredible (and entertaining) colleagues.
They can do a lot to make employees like me feel more stable but that’s not all it takes to keep me, or your other recruits. So what else can but can employers do to help? Let’s explore a few options:
Increase financial empowerment
We all know that just paying more isn’t an option past a point. Now that point may vary business to business but eventually, we have to look outside of pay to improve disposable income.
A retail employee discounts programme can be an obvious answer. For a fraction of the cost of an equivalent salary increase to a business, you can still add hundreds to people's pay packets.
While the numbers are a no-brainer, the less obvious benefit that I’ve witnessed is employees' confidence in being able to take more control over their spending.
Every time they do the weekly shop, they’ll actively be taking control of their finances. On top of everyday spend, this can expand to so many other types of transactions, from eating out to new trainers to pet insurance, which will all be done knowing they’ve made a positive step towards saving money.
That can make a huge difference. Not just by having more money but by consciously taking action. Think about it this way – when you were younger, did you have a piggy bank that you added your spare change to? This is the same concept, only that jar gets full rather quickly if you know how to make the most of employee discounts!
Not only that, but Reward Gateway’s new Boost feature for reward and recognition allows managers (or whomever your company allows) to retroactively add a financial reward to an eCard moment – regardless of who sent the recognition! Simply assign a budget to your designated boosters, who can then add a bonus reward to company values-driven behaviours and successes.
Create a place for wellbeing
Wellbeing is everything. The term itself is often a catch-all that can apply to all the great work you do in HR, but when there are specific challenges like the cost of living, it’s imperative you’re specific with your support and how you define wellbeing at work.
Absolutely, create that one place for every bit of support you’re giving but focus on different areas when needed. Having a place where people can go for unbiased, credible financial resources allows people to take control of something that’s often daunting.
The hardest part if you’re in trouble or scared that your financial wellbeing is in peril is to admit it, and then find the means to help yourself. Employers can make these steps as easy as possible by giving employees access to resources to support them with their day-to-day wellbeing and in times of need. Pulling all of this together in one, centralised location can be really beneficial for employees that are likely already feeling overwhelmed.
A great example of this that I love is what we’ve done with our own wellbeing benefits, sorting them into preventative, crisis and daily support. This way our people can choose the path of support that they need most, without having to even think hard about it.
Have a conversation
93% of UK employees say feeling listened to by leadership is important to their wellbeing at work, so organisations need to find ways to facilitate two-way conversations between leadership and staff.
A simple way is making sure when you share company news, there’s an opportunity for employee feedback. Email newsletters can be tricky without the dreaded ‘reply all’ so a blog or intranet post with a comments section works perfectly.
Another valuable employee communications tool is the staff survey – allow (and encourage!) employees to submit their opinions about the organisation with honesty and no fear or reprisal.
There’s many schools of thought when it comes to anonymous vs. self-identifying within surveys, but anonymity can be a great aide to your efforts. Sure, find team or location information if possible, but when people are free to comment, you may get more honest and accurate answers.
This means when you communicate the results back - which is an essential part of the two-way conversation - people are actually being listened to, not just the responses people think leadership want to hear.
And make sure you take action to address their feedback – both positive and negative!
There’s nothing worse than employees being open and honest, only for nothing to happen. It’s a surefire way to lose the power of the survey, so lay out your plan and start making a difference.
I hope these tips have opened up your eyes on how you can start to put in place some practices to empower your employees, even during challenging moments. Every little thing that an employer can do to make their employees’ worlds just a little less chaotic, and well, better, the more work anniversaries you’ll be celebrating.
For more ideas on how you can empower your people through a suite of benefits, communication tools and more, do get in touch. I’d be happy to tell you more about what Reward Gateway offers.