The Challenges of Inflation in the Workplace

Aug 25, 2023

Canadians are feeling the financial crunch as cost of living soars and wages struggle to keep pace. For most companies, endlessly raising pay is not a viable solution to help their team members navigate these challenging times. However staff feeling unsupported could result in higher turnover, lost productivity, and increased leaves of absence. Most people spend twice as much time out of the workplace, as they do in it and very few people come to work and completely detach from what is happening in their broader world. So what are the experts saying about how employers can help staff cope with the reality of prolonged inflation? Let’s delve into some key insights from various authoritative sources on how employers can support their employees amid growing inflation concerns:

According to Aon’s insights in “Inflation: Key Considerations for Employee Support” 1. addressing inflation requires a multi-faceted approach. Offering competitive compensation packages that include cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) is a pivotal step. Beyond compensation, employers can enhance benefits packages with wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, and financial wellness resources. This comprehensive approach can empower employees to manage their finances effectively amidst inflation.

Forbes discusses “Seven Ways to Support Your Employees Amid Growing Inflation Concerns” 2. Among the strategies highlighted are offering financial literacy programs. Providing employees with resources and education to understand budgeting, investing, and managing debt can boost their financial resilience. Additionally, creating a transparent dialogue about the company’s response to inflation and adjusting compensation accordingly can foster trust and stability.

HRForecast explores “How Can Employers Help Employees Deal with Inflation” 3. The article underscores the significance of communication and transparency. Employers should openly address inflation’s impact on the company and its employees. This approach can alleviate anxiety and enable employees to plan for the future effectively. Providing resources like financial wellness workshops can further empower employees to make informed financial decisions.

In “8 Strategies to Help Employees with Inflation” 4, Maple offers insights into supporting employees. They recommend offering healthcare benefits that cover inflation-induced medical costs, thereby providing employees with a sense of security. For example, as the cost of medical services like massage or acupuncture index up, historic benefit maximums won’t go as far they have in the past. This also applies to wellness expenses covered in lifestyle accounts. If the cost of your gym or yoga pass has gone up, eventually something has to give. Allotments to make sure team members aren’t cancelling these things could help a lot. Additionally, promoting flexible work arrangements and remote work options can help employees save on commuting expenses, contributing to improved financial well-being.

Benefits Canada delves into expert opinions on “How Employers Can Support Workers Amid Rising Inflation” 5. Panelists emphasize the importance of maintaining benefits during inflation to provide stability to employees. Offering comprehensive benefits packages that cover healthcare, wellness, and financial support can mitigate the financial impact of inflation.

“Ikea Canada Offering Employees Emergency Grants, Discounts to Combat Inflation” 6. underscores how a major corporation is taking proactive steps. Ikea Canada has taken proactive steps to alleviate the financial impact of inflation on its employees. The company is offering emergency grants and discounts to its staff to address the rising cost of living. This move is part of Ikea’s commitment to supporting its employees during challenging economic times. By providing emergency grants and discounts, Ikea aims to directly assist employees in managing their financial pressures brought about by inflation. The initiative reflects the company’s dedication to employee well-being and demonstrates how organizations can take tangible measures to help their workforce navigate economic uncertainties and rising living costs.

Employers are facing their own challenges with inflation as the cost of business is rising, and consumer habits are being crunched. Some key themes to think about are, can you keep or enhance your benefits to help cover expenses your staff may no longer be able to absorb? Are you proactively communicating with them about the current state of your company to help them feel secure? Have you considered financial literacy workshops or tools? Are there ways you can accommodate remote or flexible working to help reduce the costs of commuting? 

While the rate at which purchasing power declines can vary, it is for the most part a one way street. Prices are unlikely to come down to pre-pandemic levels again. Understanding this means that successful organizations will need to build strategies that hit the mark in terms of helping staff deal with these realities while continuing to be productive at work. 

To learn about how we are helping clients build comprehensive strategies designed to tackle this head on, reach out to we’d love to help.


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