Inflation and the rising cost of living are two significant challenges affecting the behaviour of New Zealand employees and job seekers. In the 12 months leading up to March 2023, inflation rose by 6.7%, following a 7.2% increase in the 12 months to December 2022. This is a level not seen since the 1990s. The average cost of living increased by 7.7% in the 12 months to March 2023, with food prices increasing by 12% on average across households. This high-cost climate means that as an employer, it’s essential to understand how financial pressures can impact your team’s well-being and productivity.
Understanding The Impact Of Inflation And The Cost Of Living
Inflation, coupled with an increasing cost of living, has a direct and profound impact on employees’ financial well-being. As prices for essential goods and services rise, the purchasing power of salaries diminishes. This financial strain can lead to various behavioural changes among employees:
- Financial stress: inflation-driven increases in the cost of living can create financial stress for employees. The need to stretch their income to cover daily expenses, such as housing, groceries, and utilities, can be overwhelming.
- Reduced savings: as financial pressures mount, many Kiwis may find it challenging to save for future goals, such as homeownership, travel, or retirement. This can have long-term consequences for their financial stability.
- Health neglect: unfortunately, in many cases, health and well-being often take a backseat as employees cut costs to make ends meet. Skipping routine medical check-ups or delaying necessary healthcare can lead to deteriorating health over time.
- Mental health struggles: those who struggle to keep up with financial commitments, or fail to make progress towards their goals and instead live paycheck to paycheck, may experience greater mental health struggles, impacting all facets of their life including work performance.
- Job dissatisfaction: the financial struggles caused by inflation and a high cost of living can lead to job dissatisfaction. Employees who feel undervalued or under-compensated may start looking for alternative job opportunities.
HealthNow During Financial Hardships
Amidst the challenges posed by inflation and the rising cost of living, offering a solution like HealthNow can be a game-changer for employers – and a very attractive drawcard. HealthNow is more than just a health benefit; it’s a lifeline that helps employees maintain their health and well-being, even in the face of financial hardships. Here’s why it’s an ideal solution:
- HealthNow offers financial support for a wide range of health and medical expenses, ensuring that employees have access to essential healthcare without straining their budgets. This financial security is crucial in times of economic uncertainty.
- With HealthNow, employees can proactively manage their health, preventing small issues from becoming major health concerns. Regular check-ups and timely interventions can save both employees and employers from the burden of costly healthcare down the line.
- By offering HealthNow, employers send a clear message that they care about their employees’ well-being. This sense of support and care can reduce stress and anxiety related to health issues, leading to increased job satisfaction and engagement.
- HealthNow empowers employees to choose healthcare providers and services within approved categories. This flexibility aligns perfectly with their financial constraints and gives them control over their health decisions.
- By prioritising employee health and well-being, employers can potentially reduce absenteeism and improve productivity. Healthy employees are more likely to be present, motivated, and focused on their work.
Employers: Be A Source Of Support
As an employer, you have the power to make a significant difference in your employees’ lives, especially when they are facing financial hardships due to inflation and the rising cost of living. Offering HealthNow can help alleviate financial stress, ensure access to essential healthcare, and foster a sense of well-being among your workforce. Your support can also foster a happier, healthier, and more engaged workforce, resulting in a win-win scenario for both your employees and your organisation.
Getting Started With HealthNow
Getting started with HealthNow so you can start reaping the benefits when it comes to your current and prospective employees is made incredibly simple by our team. We set your employees up according to your needs and budget, with one-on-one support anytime you need it. HealthNow is purposefully designed to also save you time and administrative hassle compared to other health benefit options. You’re in control of the service categories to approve, and you aren’t charged for any unused funds within a calendar year. Get started with HealthNow here, or you can request a demo by filling in the same form.
You can also read more about the meaningful employee benefits available in today’s job market that can help differentiate you as an employer of choice by reading our comprehensive 2023 Employer Market Report here.