Employees sitting in an office space
British businesses must support employees to survive an economic crisis, according to Weekly10. Unsplash/Israel Andrade

In the face of a worsening economic crisis, British businesses are feeling the pressure to come up with innovative approaches to remain competitive. Despite the government's efforts to save the UK's fragile economic position ahead of the general election expected next year, firms are turning to alternative measures, such as implementing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies.

In light of the current economic crisis, prioritising employee welfare is now more important than ever for the survival of UK businesses. In response, many organisations are trying to help their employees and ease some of their financial worries. Weekly10, a company specialising in employee performance, has summarised its nine recommendations for firms to help employees during difficult economic times.

Weekly10 suggests that companies should focus on employee engagement, as engagement is the cornerstone of any successful firm. According to the company, businesses must learn more about the various components of engagement to develop an engagement-focused culture. Employees who are engaged are more likely to find purpose, be inspired and efficient and have a sense of accomplishment and personal development.

The experts at Weekly10 further insist that businesses must learn more about the various components of engagement to develop an engagement-focused culture. They noted that HR best practices and behavioural research show the essential components supporting employee engagement, which include a straightforward 10-step management strategy. Businesses also have to be transparent and carry their employees along in terms of their work expectations.

Weekly10 also suggests that companies should put employees' well-being first, as it is the moral responsibility of leaders, managers and human resources professionals to look out for their employees. The outcome of having poor employee well-being includes job losses, financial instability, declining engagement and higher productivity. By offering assistance, being adaptable, paying fairly, promoting a happy work atmosphere and offering opportunities for advancement, managers may make their workers feel valued and supported.

Transparency is also important during the current economic crisis, and the professionals at Weekly10 emphasise that employees feel more secure and safe when leaders acknowledge difficult circumstances or uncertainty. Delta Airlines CEO, Ed Bastian, emphasizes the value of being approachable, sincere, and open in communicating during these trying times. To communicate more openly, experts suggest regular one-on-one meetings, town halls, and weekly emails from the CEO as useful ways to guarantee that staff members have plenty of opportunities to communicate and voice their opinions.

In addition, they advised employers to do more listening than talking. Experts believe businesses can reap benefits such as employee participation, morale boosts, and productivity from transparency.

According to Weekly10, fostering resilience in employees to aid them in adjusting to difficult situations could also boost their performance in the cost of living crisis. A resilient workforce offers several advantages, including boosting motivation and enhancing the general health of workers. Although it may take some time, employers stand to gain a lot by laying the foundation for their staff to learn resilient strategies.

Weekly10 shared some benefits of employee resilience, including boosting motivation and enhancing the general health of workers. Experts revealed that this is so because occupational well-being and resilience are related. Team managers and leaders may aid a person's development by giving them the proper resources and instructions. Managers and employees alike have a duty to comprehend the fundamental components that foster workplace resilience according to Weekly10. Professionals have said resilience will naturally flourish in an atmosphere with possibilities for social connection, well-being and personal growth.

By being resilient, employees with a growth mindset can look to the future positively; hence, looking forward will help support employees after the cost of living crisis. This encourages flexibility and adaptability and makes constructive answers to difficulties and problems possible.

Another way businesses can assist their workers in adopting a growth attitude is by encouraging them to seek out mentors or coaches who can offer direction. Coaches can help staff members identify their skills and limitations and develop improved methods, while mentors can provide insights and advice based on their experiences.

To promote a culture of learning and growth, employers can also establish challenging yet attainable goals and offer opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing, as well as foster resilience and adaptability among employees.

Such skills can be especially valuable during times of economic hardship because employees may experience stress and isolation, which can harm their mental health and well-being. By promoting healthy workplace connections, employers can create a collaborative and supportive environment that inspires employees to feel more connected and invested in their job.

Experts at Weekly10 also highlight the importance of supporting physical health in the workplace during a cost-of-living crisis. For instance, providing ergonomic workstations with adjustable seats, desks, and computer monitors can help reduce the risk of injuries or chronic discomfort caused by prolonged sitting. Employers can also encourage physical activity by offering walking or standing meetings and flexible work schedules.

As physical health is closely related to mental and emotional health, supporting employees' physical well-being is vital to their overall performance. A study showed that an estimated 141.4 million working days were lost in the UK due to illness or injury, and in the US, presenteeism —working while ill or absent — caused by poor physical health results in the loss of an estimated 1.5 billion workdays annually. Experts also urged businesses to encourage employees to take breaks rather than working through lunch or for lengthy periods while offering employees flexible work schedules is better for managing their personal and professional lives.

In addition to physical health, professionals urge businesses to provide access to professional and personal growth opportunities during economic downturns to help employees gain resilience, flexibility, and productivity. Setting specific, achievable goals and investing in development can show employees their value and help them build resilience through trying circumstances.

Weekly10 didn't fail to note that employers must evaluate their efforts and gather feedback from their staff for future-proofing. In other words, businesses are encouraged to learn from their environment and strategies to know if they can deploy them in the future. The workplace experts added that employers should learn their thoughts and experiences and poll them for suggestions on future-proofing.

Ultimately, companies that invest in the well-being of their employees are likely to emerge stronger and better positioned to survive and thrive during these challenging times and economic storms.