Support your Staff with Employee Savings
Another week, another raft of research surveys painting a gloomy picture for UK employees.
Data from HR consultancy Mercer suggests that workers have yet another year of below-inflation pay rises to look forward to in 2012. Its quarterly Pulse survey shows that UK companies are budgeting for an average three per cent increase for staff across the board. Employees in the UK are set to fare slightly better than their counterparts in Western Europe – but any increase will still be less than the current five per cent level of inflation.
The CIPD has added to the general malaise with a survey showing that employers are in fact hedging their bets on all employment related decisions, from pay through to recruitment and redundancy. UK plc is in ‘wait and see’ mode, says the Institute, and is quite understandably exercising caution against the backdrop of the Eurozone crisis and wider economic uncertainty.
None of this of course is particularly good news for beleaguered employees who continue to face enormous financial pressure thanks to growing travel, fuel and food costs. With no prospect of a meaningful salary increase on the horizon – and no bonus likely either – people can easily get dispirited at work and become passengers rather than enthusiastic participants in the business.
Forward-looking employers are beginning to realise, however, that even if they can’t promise a pay rise, there are ways they can help staff eke out the family budget and meet the higher cost of living. This is illustrated by the high demand we are currently experiencing for our Employee Savings products – a cost effective way for organisations to show they appreciate the pressure their people are under and value the contribution they are making.
Employee Savings allow staff to make their money go further, in a way that suits them, all year round. Employees simply log onto a personalised website which gives them access to a menu of discounts on everything from food and drink to travel, motoring and finance. They can also take advantage of specially negotiated cash-back offers on everything from utilities to insurance as well as enjoy discounts on leading brand products.
The fact that staff are able to make a personal choice about exactly how they spend the level of reward you have given them makes the motivation factor even more powerful. They may decide to make the family budget go further by using a discounted supermarket shopping voucher, for example, or take the opportunity to treat the family to a trip or meal out.
When times are tough, these small savings can make a big difference – not just to your employees finances, but also to the way they feel about working for the business. The fact that the savings are accessed via a branded website also provides a constant reminder that their employer values them and is doing its best to support them in difficult circumstances.
Employers who want to maximise the motivational impact of this type of scheme would be well advised to start planning now for how they will communicate it to staff. A New Year launch, for example, sends a really positive message to employees about the year ahead. For those who have existing schemes, a well-timed piece of communication can serve to remind people about what is on offer and can help to boost enthusiasm when they return to work after the festive season.
Carefully crafted communication will reinforce messages about the kind of behaviours that are encouraged and rewarded in the business and will help to increase engagement, even in a company’s darkest hours.
So how are you planning to reward and incentivise your employees in the run up to 2012? We look forward to hearing about your experiences and ideas.
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