While all economic cycles share certain features, they also have unique effects. What’s different for HR in this downturn versus the last? Here are three distinctive characteristics of the current economic slump that are affecting your employees—and potentially reshaping your HR programs:
1. Rising gas prices refocus efforts on commuting assistance, benefits
With gas prices climbing toward $4 a gallon, employees are paying much more to get to work—a direct hit on the wallet.
In fact, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 2,000 working Americans found that 44% said that paying for gasoline was a “serious problem” for them. Across all income levels, the cost of gas was the most frequently cited economic concern (see box below).
Impact on HR: Expect to become more involved in getting your employees to work. Among the options to consider putting in play:
More generous commuting benefits
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