During the current cost of living crisis, how can we plan to ensure that our staff are being compensated fairly? And that this is in line with these increases? And that they are comfortable letting us know if they feel it is not, rather than losing them to a better offer from elsewhere.

Kelly Gilmour-Grassam of Making You Content and Pete Heslop of Steadfast Collective, joined us to explore the various means of avoiding disparity between wages and the cost of living.

Cost of Living Crisis: What can we do?

Kelly: “We adjusted everyone’s pay increases so that everyone’s getting the minimum of the inflation rate.

So let’s say one of the guys is now on a 17% pay rise and he was going to be on 10%. So in real terms, he’s got that.

But in terms of like a one-off top-up, we did the £150 just for everyone as a blanket.”


Why Forecasting is Vital

And the key to this is accurate forecasting:

“The reason why we forecasted out for the next few years is so that then when we can sit down with people, we can say:

‘This is what you’re going to probably be on next year, the year after.’

Because we don’t want people to do is just leave when actually they could have just said to us:

‘That’s not enough.’”

Different Means of Compensation

There are of course other ways that you can increase staff pay on an annual basis, such as EMI schemes:

Pete: “EMI scheme is like a stock option scheme.

So essentially our team buy a percentage of the company at essentially a nominal value. And then in our case, they invest over three years and  become shareholders in the business. Which is full voting for dividend-paying.

And if we were to ever get bought out, a full payout in their terms as well.

So for us, that’s a good anchor in how we set our relationship with our team in that we want to we want them to be invested in the company but also reap the benefits, right?

So we paid out dividends in December, which is the end of our financial year on the 31st.”


What Else Can We Do?

Of course there are other considerations, like the costs of travel, or increased fuel consumption for those working at home. It’s a case of working out how to balance this, whilst retaining a fair pay structure.

Members of the AC enjoy access to our in-house HR Expert, Sarah May. To find out more about what more Sarah can support you with, click here.

Kelly Gilmour-Grassam founded Making You Content (MYC) in 2014.

MYC has made its mark in the sector, offering services across copywriting, editing & social media management. Clients include The Growth Company, ResponseTap, and UKFast.

Kelly was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 by Downtown Manchester in Business.

Pete Heslop is Managing Director at Steadfast Collective, his passion is working with smart creatives to craft digital applications that bring people together.