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How to reward your staff by saving them money on living costs

Are your staff meeting their financial obligations? The frank but dispiriting answer could be: yes, if only just. Recently, in the UK, The Guardian reported how staff of the prestige bookselling chain Waterstones were petitioning for higher pay due to worries over even paying for food.

It’s possible that your own workers aren’t quite as hard-pressed for money – but, even so, they will appreciate you stepping in to relieve their living expenses, even just slightly.

Is simply increasing salaries an option?

This would be an obvious remedy to consider if your staff are struggling to make ends meet, but you might have to carefully consider your company’s overall financial situation.

It was only two years ago that the previously struggling Waterstones returned to profit – and, in a recent interview, the chain’s managing director, James Daunt, said that it remained incapable of paying even just £5m to increase wages.

Referring to “the best and most talented booksellers” Waterstones was eager to retain, Daunt said that “we reward them as well as we can with pay, but we mainly reward them with a stimulating job.” All the same, your own firm might still be able to make some financial leeway in other areas…

Consider handing out gift cards as rewards

If your company remains cash-strapped, investigate whether it could still afford occasional gift cards – bought in modest values like $5 and $10 – to distribute as rewards.

The word “rewards” is crucial to emphasize here; you could initially hand out cards to those workers who help the business to meet a particular goal, like boosting service. Also, as Inc. acknowledges, rewards can be given out on account of group, rather than individual, achievements.

However, if you will be awarding gift cards as part of a pre-advertised program, rather than handing out these cards on the spot, remember to very clearly communicate what criteria workers need to meet before being eligible for these cards.

Through sourcing the gift cards from stores which supply obvious living essentials, such as food and toiletries, you can enable your staff to put the discounts towards items that they will definitely use.

What types of living costs do your staff face?

If you know your staff well, you probably know their lifestyles well, too. For example, you might know how enthusiastic some of your workers are about seeing the next Marvel superhero film, where they regularly buy hot drinks and whether they frequent the gym.

Fortunately, all of these lifestyle habits can be accounted for with corporate work perks. For example, the workplace wellness software provider LifeWorks makes it easy for employers to unlock cinema discounts of up to 55%, gym discounts and free hot drinks from the coffee chain Caffè Nero.

You might have already have come up with further ideas for how to reward your staff financially but creatively… and, as a result, helping to ensure that their day-to-day lives are that little bit more financially bearable. You could consequently find yourself to be a much-loved employer.


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