Barton’s blog: How will reward strategies respond to soaring inflation rates?

The cost-of-living crisis hit the headlines this week, as the Office for National Statistics announced the consumer prices index (CPI) of inflation rose faster than expected to a 30-year high of 5.4% in December 2021. Despite news of higher starting salaries and rises in basic pay increases, UK households face immense pressure caused by higher prices of food and fuel. How will employers react to the news? While pay rises will not be able to match inflation, will we see employers amend their pay strategies to avoid losing key talent? How will employers support the financial wellbeing of those staff members most greatly affected by the cost-of-living crisis?

This week also saw the launch of a programme to which employers can sign up and pilot the four-day working week within their organisation. The scheme is running for six months in the UK, USA, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Some employers have been operating a four-day working week for a number of years now; some are still running their own trials, and indeed it won’t work for every organisation in every industry sector, but it does turn the conversation to the best ways of motivating and retaining employees. As the great resignation and war for talent continues to shake up the employment market, will a shorter working week become a key differentiator for candidates when choosing between potential employers? Or will we see employers using other reward strategies as attraction tools during the recruitment process?

And finally, one last reminder that entries to the Employee Benefits Awards close this Monday, 24 January. Please do ensure you have completed your entries to be in the running for our coveted awards. The winners for 2022 will be announced at the Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party, which is set to be held in June. To see all the categories and start your entry, click here.

Tynan Barton
Acting editor
Tweet: @tynanbartonEB