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2 min read

What to do when you can't afford to raise salaries

What to do when you can't afford to raise salaries

Before you do anything - find out what staff want

When was the last time you asked your employees what they want or need with regards to their working environment, benefits and other staff initiatives that could save them money?

Consider running an anonymous survey that gives you the opportunity to find out what would make your workforce’s life easier. This could include perks such as free or subsidised meals at the canteen, travel and childcare discounts or financial coaching sessions.

Be careful not to patronise staff and be mindful of your messaging; patting yourself on the back for providing free fruit once a week isn’t going to make you any friends when your employees could be struggling to support their families. Be honest if pay-rises are not possible at the moment, but show that you want to offer support and value your employees’ input. Keep this going regularly - seek out continuous feedback.


Invest in your team’s future

If you can't offer a salary increase now, consider how you could improve earning opportunities for your staff in the future. For example, can you provide training opportunities such as courses, coaching or internal mentorships?

These may not only increase their chance of a promotion or pay-rise in the future but may also reassure your staff you care about their professional development and career progression.  Many staff may be motivated by this as well as the opportunity to upskill and advance. 


Support employees’ work/life balance

We all have lives outside work and employers that respect that will have more motivated, engaged and loyal staff, according to the CIPD.

Flexible working is nothing new, but can you offer additional flexibility that can help reduce employees’ costs? This could include working-from-home days that staff can decide (rather than assigned days), working hours outside of core hours so employees can work around their children and other commitments, or a compressed week like Atom Bank?

Give your benefits a boost

Consider introducing wellbeing benefits that support your staff in the long term. For example, while many firms already have physical and mental wellbeing strategies in place, they have yet to introduce financial wellbeing programmes.

Poor financial wellbeing can have a significant impact on physical and mental health with more than two thirds (67%) of staff saying financial stress affects their performance at work. 

Supporting staff financial wellbeing - through one-to-one financial coaching, workshops and on-demand courses - can reduce this stress while giving staff the skills and confidence to manage their money effectively.

Claro Wellbeing research shows that 69% of employees feel their company should do more to support their personal finances and more than three-quarters (76%) would use a financial wellbeing programme if their employer offered one.


Consider extra paid leave

If you cannot afford a company-wide pay rise, rewarding staff with additional holiday days could be an attractive option and could also make your firm more appealing to new recruits.