Cost-of-living crisis | HR warned to expect surge of pay rise requests

HR warned to expect surge of pay rise requests

With inflation rates at a 40-year high, household bills skyrocketing, and the threat of a recession looming, employers are being warned to prepare for an influx of requests for a pay raise from employees.

On average, wages increased by 4.7% over the last year which, on the surface, sounds like a good deal. But this has been outstripped by inflation, meaning that wages have actually fallen by 3%.

Jenny Marsden, Associate Director of BrightHR, said: “We are seeing increased unrest amongst workers, as evidenced by ongoing industrial action across many sectors calling for pay rises in line with inflation.

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“It’s really important to bear in mind that everyone is feeling the pinch of the economic landscape right now, including businesses. However doing nothing is not an option. Employers must recognise that this is a real issue and put measures in place to support their employees.

“Staff who are struggling with soaring household and fuel costs may look for external opportunities if their current employer cannot effectively contribute towards their income.

“Clearly, the greatest benefit would be to offer staff a pay rise or bonus. However, those who do not have extensive financial resources may have to get creative to help support their employees and avoid losing key members of staff."

The Ultimate Roadmap For Effective Employee Appreciation

The Ultimate Roadmap For Effective Employee Appreciation

With an unprecedented mix of the rising cost of living and the challenges of a dispersed, multi-generational workforce with socio-economical differences, employee appreciation has never been more significant to an organisation’s success.

Whether it’s with rewards, incentives, or by creating meaningful moments, expressing gratitude can boost employee engagement, productivity, and loyalty.

Based on Blackhawk Network's (BHN) exclusive employee appreciation research, carried out in January 2024, this guide unveils:

  • The business case for year-round employee recognition

  • How to measure the effectiveness of employee appreciation

  • The best practice for creating a culture where employees can thrive

  • Key insights into what rewards employees really want

From shedding light on when to express gratitude to effective ways to amplify the employee experience and boost your employee value proposition, read on to discover how to unleash the power of employee appreciation.

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What else can HR do?

If firms are struggling to hike up their workers' pay, Marsden said there are alternative options available to avoid attrition.

“There are other ways employers can help staff, such as travel ticket loans or hybrid working arrangements to save on commuting costs, bringing remote workers into the office (if requested) to help save their energy bills, financial literacy support, signposting employees to their EAP, implementing saving schemes and salary sacrifice loans, and training and development opportunities to establish a clear career pathway."

“Where employees can clearly see that there is a plan for their long-term professional success, they will be less likely to jump ship for a short-term financial gain."

Marsden concluded: “Unfortunately it’s a bleak situation for everyone, and the immediate future looks no brighter. Energy bills are expected to rise again in the autumn and a difficult winter is predicted. But a workplace that values open communication, where staff feel comfortable in raising their concerns and speaking with their managers who, in turn, are able to handle such conversations sensitively and appropriately, can go a long way towards maintaining morale.”

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