Last week, several media outlets, including the Guardian, reported that between 2007 and 2015, real wages in the UK fell by 10.4% – the joint lowest of all Organisation Economic and Co-operation Development (OECD) member states.

A report issued by the national Trade Union Congress (TUC), used figures to demonstrate that while real wages grew in almost every other European country, from 14 per cent in Germany to 23 per cent in Poland, the UK was one of only three to show a decline, alongside Greece and Portugal.

One month after the Brexit vote – and with the associated ramifications this presents – UK workers may well be dealt another body blow in the coming weeks and months. While a pound in your pocket is clearly a key driver for employees, there are actions, and indeed, reactions, that can help businesses in the wake of last week’s wages news.  

From the employer’s standpoint, the primary focus needs to be ‘How can we soften the blow for our employees?’ Key to this, of course, is ensuring employees feel valued and appreciated by their employers despite their lack of financial reward.  Here are five simple steps that can really make a difference:

Mobilise your workforce – Make life as easy – and as enjoyable – as possible for your employees by equipping them with tools that will improve the workforce experience. The new revolution of social recognition and employee engagement applications offer effective mobile solutions that can really drive higher utilisation because of the ‘from anywhere, at any time’ factor. Giving employees this freedom and flexibility, can significantly boost engagement.

Promote workforce wellness – If employees’ financial, physical or emotional health is suffering, the impact of this on business productivity can be profound. Offering wellness benefits such as gym memberships, paid-for access to financial advice, or counselling for employees who may be suffering from an emotional or mental health problem, shows that you, the employer, cares.  

Give benefits that help cut personal expenditure – Although you can’t pay them a salary  increase in real terms, offering perks, daily deals and discount vouchers represents a tax efficient saving for the business and an incremental ‘pay’ rise for employees as you are helping to cut down on essential spend.

Build a sense of togetherness – Private social internal networks and mobile applications are also great ways to achieve this. Social recognition is a great way to give employees a virtual ‘pat on the back’ not only for their performance at work, but also for being great employees. They allow teams to receive social updates, including birthday and work anniversary notices, as well as key company information via a news feed. The importance of ‘togetherness’ for building stronger teams and businesses should never be underestimated.  

Open two-way communication – When the going gets tough, there is little worse than a lack of information. People like to know what is happening, why and when. Make sure you set up a dedicated channel of communication that gives your people a platform to ask confidential questions. The need for top-down communication is vital too – in fact, more so than ever. Strong leadership is key to maintaining motivation and morale.