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Grim outlook for HR as thousands of leaders predict business performance to plummet

The number of HR decision-makers (HRDMs) expecting business conditions to get worse this year has now DOUBLED, new insights today reveal.

The ongoing cost of living crisis, soaring inflation, rising energy bills and challenging business conditions have forced thousands of UK HRDMs to make tough choices on employees’ futures, and to be more creative around staff pay and rewards.

The new insights, commissioned by Appreciate Business Services, the UK’s leading provider of rewards and recognition solutions for businesses, in collaboration with Republic of Media and Panelbase*, show the number of HRDMs anticipating a decline in business performance doubled to 6% in November 2022, from just 3% in May 2022.

The research also revealed that three in four HRDMs are now having to find ways to navigate a series of challenges in their organisations, to help manage costs and find new methods of recognising and retain staff.

More than one in five HRDMs say they are having to let go of employees (21%) and many more are looking for ways to ramp up support for existing employees amid shrinking budgets. They are trying to retain talent through higher salaries, bonus payments, enhanced rewards and recognition, and access to new discount platforms and schemes.

Top ways HRDMs are providing support for employees during the cost of living crisis**:
·         Salary increases (45%)
·         Increased staff rewards (39%)

·         Improved benefits (39%)

·         One-off payments (35%)

·         Access to discount platforms/schemes (23%)

“These new insights show the cost of living crisis is hitting many businesses hard – for some it’s as bad as it was following the Covid pandemic. However, HRDMs are facing this challenge head-on and finding new and innovative ways to support their employees,” said Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Appreciate Business Services.

“It’s a challenging market for HRDMs prompting many to think more innovatively and creatively by exploring alternatives to inflation-linked pay rises, through better rewards and recognition platforms, discount schemes for staff to offset squeezed household budgets, and enhanced benefit packages.”

Appreciate Business Services, the UK’s leading employee and customer engagement company and the home of Love2shop, is currently working with hundreds of UK HRDMs and Sales and Marketing leaders to explore new and innovative solutions to reward and recognise employees.

It works with HRDMs in a range of sectors, including professional services; financial, insurance and pension companies; wholesale, retail and logistics; health and social care; education; and the automotive sector.

Its wide range of Love2shop products offers a choice of multi-retailer gifting rewards, helping businesses attract and retain employees.

It is also helping many HRDMs to integrate a new Employee Discount Card Scheme into their organisations, with the new Everyday Benefits Card helping staff save 7.5% on their day-to-day spending at more than 90+ leading retailers, including supermarkets to help with everyday essentials.

And through its intelligent, award-winning Appreciate Engagement Platform, Appreciate Business Services is enabling HRDMs to plan and launch incentives, engagement and employee recognition and reward programs with minimal effort.

Laura Maguire, Head of Research and Insight at Republic of Media, said: “These insights prove that in many ways, HRDMs are on the front line of the cost of living crisis, tasked with finding ways to attract and retain talent in a challenging economic environment.

“Building on these statistics and this piece of work, we’re looking forward to seeing the impact of the Employee Discount Card Scheme and Appreciate Engagement Platform when we re-run this research with Appreciate Business Services later in the year.”

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The number of HR decision-makers expecting business conditions to get worse this year has now DOUBLED

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Editor’s Notes: *The Love2shop B2B Insight study was commissioned by Appreciate Business Services and carried out by independent media agency, Republic of Media and Panelbase, a UK online research community. It set out to shed light on the dynamics of the gift card market in the B2B setting. ** Multiple choice answer-options, results exceed 100% About Appreciate Business Services Appreciate Business Services is a leading UK employee and customer engagement company. Its Love2shop products offer a fantastic choice of multi-retailer gifting rewards, helping businesses attract and retain employees and customers. With its award-winning digital platform, Appreciate Business Services enables clients to plan, launch, communicate and maintain incentive or reward programs with minimal effort while delivering performance improvement. Appreciate Business Services is part of Appreciate Group, home to many of the country’s most-loved gifting, pre-payment and engagement solutions including Park Christmas Savings, and Love2shop, driving digital innovation in gifting. Read more here:

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