At Strillobyte, we strongly believe that businesses have to do their part to improve the world we are living in. To "walk the walk”, amongst other initiatives we have built a chatbot as a pro-bono project for social enterprises (click here to learn more). However, we think that efforts have to be made to improve the company on the inside too. That’s why we have decided to join the Living Wage Foundation Network.
For those unfamiliar with this, being a living wage company means that we commit to paying the real living wage to all directly employed staff and contractors.
Living Wage vs National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage is the lowest remuneration that employers can pay their employees. It is legally recognised and it is set by the Business Secretary every year on the advice of the Low Pay Commission. It is enforced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
As the name suggests, the National Minimum Wage is calculated on a national basis. However, the cost of living in the UK changes from city to city. For instance, London is considered to be quite more expensive than any other place in the country.
This is where the Living Wage comes into play. This figure is based on the amount of money an employee really needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living, and it is different in each city. Although the living wage is not a legally enforceable minimum level of pay (while the national minimum wage is), it is still a very useful and fair informal benchmark for employees and employers alike.
The benefits for our employees
At Strillobyte, we firmly believe that the workplace should be more than just a place you go from Monday to Friday to do some work. It should be a place where employees enjoy spending time together and have opportunities to grow professionally and personally, while also being able to rely on financial stability. Using the living wage as a reference point for all our employees has several benefits.
Beyond the moral obligation towards our staff, Strillobyte has actually benefited in terms of company performance, being a Living Wage employer.
Our employees are happier. It may seem obvious, but when salary gives your employees the certainty that they can afford a stable lifestyle, they will be happier and focus more on the work that has to be delivered. Productivity increases as the mood in the workplace improves.
Our employees are loyal. The job market can be brutal in London and, for startups, competition is ruthless. Retaining valuable employees is tricky, but paying them the living wage is one of the factors that makes it a slightly easier task.
Our employees enjoy working at Strillobyte. The financial security given by a Living Wage salary makes our staff enjoy their time here. This mood is translated in good word of mouth from them to friends and acquaintances that represent potential new customers or new employees.
Why is it important as an employer?
Paying fair salaries is not only the right thing to do, it makes business sense. Employees dedicate a huge part of their lives to your mission. Without them, there will be no company, no products, no customers. Creating a respectful and fair working environment is crucial for your staff to enjoy their time at work. It increases productivity and the quality of customer service, and sets your business as an example compared to other companies, improving the retention of talents in an extremely competitive economy. As an employer, you ultimately generate more cost savings and revenue, by simply being a good employer.
Why it is important to be vocal
Now that we are part of the Living Wage Foundation Network, we want to be vocal about it. We are not going to neglect the advantages from a brand and marketing perspective. Indeed, being accredited helps reinforce our image of a startup that puts ethics at the core of all our initiatives.
We also believe that advocating and promoting the Living Wage Network, there will be benefits for employees and employers in the market that will go beyond Strillobyte. By being vocal, we hope that more companies will follow. Startups are innovators, and, as such, they have the power and opportunity to be the real game changers in our society.
Do you want to create a tool or implement a strategy to improve collaboration and team working?
Get in touch and our team at Strillobyte will guide and support you on your journey!