40% of UK staff feel supported through the cost-of-living crisis

supporting through cost-of-living crisisJust 40% of UK employees feel their organisation is supporting them through the cost-of-living crisis, according to research by Reward Gateway.

Its HR priority report, which surveyed 1,001 HR decision makers and 2,026 UK employees, also found that more HR leaders believe mental wellbeing should be a top priority in 2024 than financial wellbeing, at 60% and 55% respectively. However, employees rank financial wellbeing over mental wellbeing, at 65% and 60% respectively.

More than half (57%) of HR respondents said supporting employees with the rising cost of living has increased in importance over the last few years, but they are struggling to meet demands, with employees rating pay rises (62%) and financial bonuses (53%) as the top two ways to make them feel more appreciated.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of HR respondents said it is challenging to offer competitive pay and benefits, while 36% of employees have considered leaving their job because of poor pay.

Just 14% of HR respondents said their organisation offers financial support to counter the cost-of-living crisis as part of its reward and recognition programme, despite 43% believing they are helping employees through it. Two-thirds (65%) of employee respondents said their organisation could do more to support them through the cost-of-living crisis.

Less than half (49%) of employee respondents said their employer has a reward and recognition programme, despite 65% of HR respondents claiming they do so. While 70% of employee respondents have a good knowledge of the programme, 47% said the level of reward and recognition offered is good. Only 43% of HR leaders said their scheme is well funded, and 82% believe their offering needs to be better.

Nebel Crowhurst, chief people officer at Reward Gateway, said: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, many employers have a genuine desire to help workers feel financially supported. However, when an organisation’s economic situation doesn’t allow for pay rises, employers often feel there is nothing they can do. This is far from the truth; good reward and recognition programmes can relieve financial stress for both employer and employee, when they are made visible and accessible to all.

“Offering personalised, easily accessible, impactful financial wellbeing rewards will go a long way towards meeting complex and varied employee needs at this difficult time.”