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Inflation's 40 Year High: 3 Ways to Help Employees Cut-Costs

by Caroline Boyland July 13, 2022

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ICYMI: Inflation hit a 40 year high last month

If you missed the recent headlines (or have somehow not noticed an impact on your daily spend), inflation hit a 40 year high last month. While many economists are saying that of course, nothing lasts forever, they’re also saying they have no idea when it will come back down. Rising costs don’t seem to be slowing down, and many people are finding themselves with less expendable income, which as a result, has consumers turning to credit cards and finding themselves with higher and higher bills each month. Our recent research found that 95% of employees nationwide are feeling the effects of inflation on their daily expenses.

As an employer, you may be wondering how you can ease that burden for your employees, without necessarily giving salary boosts across the board. After all, financial hardship has a direct impact on mental health, workplace productivity, and employee retention. So, how can you help employees save money without breaking your employer’s bank?

Here are 3 roads you can consider taking:

1. Consider where your employees are working from

If your organization is one of the ones that returned to an in-office environment when the pandemic slowed down, you may not realize how much this is impacting your employees financially. Considering a hybrid approach (something like 2-3 days in the office each week) can help employees manage the costs that arise when they’re required to commute. Things like:

  • Gas prices, buss passes, and train tickets
  • Parking & tolls
  • Childcare
  • Breakfast, lunch, and coffee
  • Officewear

and other unexpected costs all add up to make the trip into the office much pricier than working from home.

Implementing a hybrid approach, at least until inflation begins to fall, can be a great way to help employees save on costs. Additionally, it can improve employee satisfaction and morale by saving them time on their daily commute so that they can spend that time enriching their mental and/or physical wellness. On the employer side, implementing a hybrid approach gives organizations the chance to downsize their offices, saving on office costs. If a hybrid workspace isn't an option because of the nature of your work, another choice to consider is offering alternative benefits such as free or subsidized public transport passes, which can also help employees save on commuting costs.

2. Offer in-office perks

From the morning coffee to the mid-afternoon snacks or even a quick lunch, the costs that employees incur when they're at work can add up quickly. Having to eat when commuting to work can be a significant money-eater that employees face every day. You can help offset these costs by providing in-office perks like free coffee or tea, subsidized lunches, or even a snack bar.

Additionally, you can consider implementing an employee discount program for products or services that employees often use. These can come in the form of gym/physical wellness discounts or benefits, restaurant stipends, or childcare discounts. This can help offset inflated costs that employees see daily. These discounts can have a major impact on an employee's ability to save, and their overall financial wellness.

Just like a hybrid environment, additional employee perks can improve employee happiness and long-term retention. Don’t underestimate the motivational power of a good coffee machine!

3. With open enrollment around the corner, consider decision support

With many organizations preparing for an open enrollment season in Q4, a decision support tool can be life changing for employees hoping to save on costs. For many, open enrollment is due to fall right around the time many economists are predicting a recession—this means it’s more important than ever before to ensure that employees are choosing the benefits plans that best align with not only their mental and physical, but their financial needs and goals.

A decision support tool like Nayya can offer personalized plan recommendations that best align with an employee’s unique health and financial needs. It can show an employee exactly how much impact each plan will have on their paychecks each month, and also provide potential life-scenarios, showing employees exactly what it would cost them if various situations (ie.pregnancy, unplanned surgery, a trip to the E.R.) arise throughout the year.

With inflation at an all time high, and a potential recession on the horizon, a tool like Nayya can give employees confidence and education when selecting their benefits—which is the single most important financial decision employees make each year. Helping employees plan for their future can give them peace of mind surrounding their health and finances.

Financial wellness is so, so important for employees today. By taking proactive steps to address the inflation pains that employees are facing, you can not only improve their personal lives but also their overall performance and productivity. Consider implementing even just one of these ideas, and you’ll be able to help employees save money and ease the financial burden they’re facing in today’s economy. This will create more satisfied, healthy employees, and can strengthen your overall talent attraction and retention efforts.

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