Cost of living concerns could have silver lining for firms – HR expert

07 October 2022

Businesses have a unique opportunity to support their employees and improve loyalty and retention as the cost of living crisis bites this winter.

That is the advice from The HR Dept, whose network of human resources professionals supports more than six thousand small business owners across the UK and Ireland.

Sara Abbott (pictured), who represents the company in North Birmingham, said that the likely economic hardship over the coming months presents an opportunity to create lasting bonds between businesses and their staff.

Sara suggested that investment in employee benefits and assistance programmes (EAPs) to help with mental wellbeing would pay dividends long term. With staff looking at the energy cost implications of working from home, she said that inviting employees back to the office might reignite workplace culture put on hold during the pandemic.

“Even with government support it’s going to be a tough time for many businesses and their employees. I would advise business owners to think carefully about the role they can play in supporting their staff during this difficult time, and of course how the employees can support the business in return.

“Both parties may find that, if they make through this period together, there is a bright future ahead.”

Sara said that various concerns affecting business likely through the winter months – inflation, ongoing strikes in the transport sector, supply chain issues and rising fuel costs – would sometimes result in necessary cost savings for businesses.

While she expected to see increased activity in mergers and acquisitions, restructures and redundancies, some business owners would have a role to play in looking for solutions through creativity and good dialogue.

“It’s a chance to innovate, to think outside the box and take the necessary steps to protect your business and the jobs you offer. And when times are better, you’ll be rewarded for thinking outside the box by staff who are more loyal, productive and in tune with your business goals and objectives. Crises like these are a chance to grow team spirit and togetherness. While some difficult decisions will need to be taken, I’d recommend thinking about the positive opportunities as well.”

For enquiries on this topic, please contact Sara Abbott from The HR Dept, at


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