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VIDEO Series: National Living Wage: It provides a chance to do things differently | HR Magazine

The head of people for Big Easy discusses how the NLW will be felt differently by large and small organisations

The introduction of the National Living Wage could provide benefits in terms of happier, more engaged employees, according to Steve Rockey, head of people at restaurant chain Big Easy.

Speaking at a HR magazine round table event on the national living wage and workforce management, kindly supported by workforce management solutions provider Kronos, Rockey said there will be a “cost to bear, but an opportunity as well.”

Rockey also warned that the impact of the National Living Wage will be felt differently by large and small organisations. “I think smaller businesses will probably suffer a little bit more,” he said. “In terms of the percentage of their wage bills, this will be a substantial additional cost for them to have.

“For medium-sized businesses, there is a real opportunity to look at your product and your sales, especially if you are expanding as a business, to see how you can absorb that, either within the business or by passing the cost on to customers.”

 

Brenda Morris, UK general manager for Kronos Systems, explains how the NLW might affect HR

The National Living Wage will present an opportunity for employers to shift the paradigm into thinking of their people in a more positive way, according to Brenda Morris, UK general manager for Kronos Systems.

Speaking at an HR magazine round table event on the National Living Wage and workforce management, kindly supported by workforce management solutions provider Kronos, she discussed how the National Living Wage is going to have a significant impact on many businesses, and some of that will be positive.

“To some extent it’s taking some of the burden away from HR needing to be so controlling,” she said.

Morris also suggested that HR is currently using data in a static way. “The opportunity for HR to think about how they enable themselves, and also their operations teams,” she added.

 

The NLW provides a chance to do things differently and focus on boosting employee engagement

The introduction of the National Living Wage could cause wages to rise across the whole business, according to Neil Pickering, industry marketing manager for Kronos Systems.

Speaking at an HR magazine and Kronos roundtable event on workforce management, Pickering said many businesses see this as a chance to do things differently.

“The encouraging thing coming out of these discussions is that businesses are seeing this as an opportunity – an opportunity to do things differently, an opportunity to be more productive, and to drive efficiency within organisations,” he said.

He also said that strong employee engagement could help mitigate the impact of an increased wage bill. “We all know that if you have an engaged employee they are more productive, they are happy to be there, and delivering great customer service,” he said. “Great customer service means retaining contracts. It’s absolutely critical.”

 

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