The cost of living crisis – what support should you give your team?

The cost of living crisis is sadly likely to be even more of a trend in 2023. For employers in the engineering and IT industries, the key question is becoming what support they can offer their hard-working team.

Because from an ethical point of view, employer support in the cost of living crisis should be a must.

But for employers that are feeling the cost of living squeeze themselves, is there a balance to strike between retaining top talent in your vital engineering and IT jobs and your bottom line?

Is your team in need of support with the cost of living?

Recent surveys have shown that employee demand for support with the cost of living is very high indeed:

  • 48% of UK employees want some kind of cost of living support from their employer
  • 53% would like a direct increase in salary outside of the usual processes
  • 28% want small-scale expenses (like the cost of their daily commute) to be subsidised

How many employers offer support during the cost of living crisis?

But how are UK employers responding? There is certainly a debate in some quarters as to who should be responsible for supporting the workforce during a cost of living crisis.

Yet large swathes of businesses in the UK recognise that their teams need support:

  • 83% of large-scale UK employers are either planning or already offering help
  • Around 23% of all UK employers have offered direct financial support to their team
  • 36% say they plan to offer some kind of cost of living support

What kind of cost of living support could you offer your team?

1) Financial

Of course, the simplest way to support your team during the cost of living crisis is to increase the salaries you pay them.

Prices are look set to rise for the foreseeable future and, in many industries, wages have not been going up in line with inflation.

However, the reason this is happening is that most companies of even average size simply can’t match the rapidly scaling cost of doing business.

Some employers have offered one-off cost of living payments or instituted performance-linked reward schemes instead of salary rises because of the more limited resources they have available.

2) Non-financial

IT and engineering sector employers who feel they aren’t in a position to simply give a blanket boost to employee wages are also coming up with a wide range of non-financial cost of living support to offer their teams.

In fact, around 37% of UK employees in a recent survey said they had already received small-scale or non-financial support from their employer. This support has included:

  • Stipends or subsidies for energy prices or commuting costs
  • Employee well-being and financial planning programs
  • Shopping discounts or vouchers
  • Subsidises for cost of living-related home improvement like insulation
  • Employee hardship funds or early wage access for those in serious need

Should all employers provide support?

In an ideal world, every employer would be able to provide extensive cost of living support to those fulfilling their key IT and engineering jobs and all other positions too.

Unfortunately, the impact of inflation in the UK means the cost of doing business is also rising. Many businesses are already pushing the limits of what they can give.

Employees whose employer cannot offer the cost of living support they need are increasingly finding it’s time to look into other options.

For employers whose key staff have been driven elsewhere by the cost of living crisis, it’s worth talking to a specialist engineering or IT recruitment agency about finding the perfect match to fill those vacant positions.

Are you an employer looking for team members to fill cost of living crisis-created positions?

Let’s talk. Ernest Gordon is a specialist IT and engineering recruitment company. Our extensive talent pool and proven, open, honest, transparent process matches you with the best professionals.

Set up a cost and commitment-free consultation with one of our supportive advisors today.