Balancing employee engagement and Effective Rewards for the Lower Paid

All experienced and long-standing team members contribute and help to drive the business forward, but too often employers forget about them and focus more on new employees.

All employees in a business should be valued, irrespective of their earnings level. All experienced and long-standing team members contribute and help to drive the business forward, but too often employers forget about them and focus more on new employees and the pay structures needed to attract them to the business.

Don’t fall into that trap! It’s just as important to review the pay and reward structure for existing staff to keep motivation high.

The problem and protecting against it

In today’s environment, pay increases have been rare, leaving even the most valued employees facing financial pressure due to the rising cost of living. People have been forced to take out short-term loans as their residual incomes have fallen and therefore, without credit to supplement their income, they’ve had to cut back on spending. A reduction in spending will in turn affect economic growth.

Employers could also be affected as employees who have financial difficulties may experience physical or mental health and wellbeing issues which will impact on their concentration, productivity and overall work performance.

The solution

Employers need to strike a balance between employee engagement and effective rewards. This can be done by keeping the provision of supplying employee benefits cost neutral or very low. All employers have to do is work with a provider that can offer access to a benefits platform which includes free benefits and offers a range of voluntary benefits. Those voluntary benefits can be retail discounts, an employee assistance programme and various salary sacrifice schemes, such as cycle to work, health information, voluntary cash plan. In addition, affordable employer-funded benefits such as life cover could be offered.

Benefit platforms can also provide online lending services to enable employees to borrow and save money from their salary. To protect the financial wellbeing of their workers, employers can even include a low-cost loan service, thereby helping staff avoid the pitfalls of borrowing from payday lenders.

Why employers and benefit schemes are so valuable

Across the UK, financial distress has risen. The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee found earlier this year that an increasing number of Britons are very concerned about debt. This concern is further highlighted by the debt charity StepChange, which reported that 620,000 people contacted it last year, more than ever before. And while the government has promised to help the families who are concerned about their debt, so far there has been little in terms of actual policies and funding for services.

That is why employers’ help can provide much needed support through the workplace.

Although unemployment is low and is projected to fall a little further, the challenge for businesses over the next few years will be to remain competitive in a tight labour market when employees at any income level will find it easier to move jobs. And that’s both on a regional and national level.

This is why, in today’s competitive recruitment marketplace, it’s imperative for businesses to make informed decisions about what employee benefits to offer as part of their total rewards strategy.