Employees using cost of living to leverage better salary

Workers across the UK are using the cost of living crisis to negotiate better pay from their employers.

Research from analytics company Visier discovered 21% of workers have threatened to hand in their notice due to cost of living concerns and attempted to improve their employment package. The majority of workers (58%) didn't feel guilty about doing so. 

A quarter (25%) of those surveyed said they were hoping for a 9-10% pay rise.

Investing in flexible working would prevent 31% of those surveyed from leaving, while more learning and development opportunities (23%), and a bonus scheme (45%) were other incentives to boost retention.

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Ian McVey, managing director EMEA at Visier, said companies should use the data they have available to find out why employees are trying to find work elsewhere.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: "Economic uncertainty, inflation and the rising cost of living mean businesses need to be on the front foot to support employees, or risk further spikes in employee resignation rates. It’s an inevitable challenge for employers, but they have a not-so-secret tool to guide them: people data.

"By tapping into their employee data they can measure sentiment effectively and devise the right way to engage workers on the things that matter most to them. "

Martin Tiplady, managing director of HR consultancy Chameleon People Solutions, said that prioritising flexible working could help boost retention rates.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: "The good employers are those who are genuinely looking for ways to minimise the negative effects of the cost of living crisis. The answer though is not just about pay especially as large year on year increases simply are not sustainable.

"Those employers who are sensible will be looking at aspects beyond pay. Most important will be their response to and arrangements for flexible and hybrid working. Those employers who do not get on the hybrid working bus are likely to be knocked over by it."

Almost all respondents (94%) admitted household incomes couldn't keep up with the cost of living, while 79% believed their employers were obliged to help them manage.

Some companies, including Barclays and law firm Bird and Bird, have offered workers one-off bonuses or pay rises to help them deal with increased cost of living expenses.

Visier surveyed 2,010 employees in June 2022.