Your thoughts on the Living Wage and Motivation

Hello Community,

I am interested in hearing the views of fellow HR practitioners to inform my HRM Masters research paper looking at the impact of the Living Wage on motivation. In brief, I want to explore whether the Living Wage is putting too much pressure on organisations in terms of compliance, and takes away the flexibility to reward, motivate and develop employees in a way that best fits their organisation.

My formal research aim is to critically evaluate whether government intervention via the Living Wage agenda is hindering business motivational strategies and discourages social mobility for low paid employees by forcing best practice versus best fit.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could complete the following survey to provide your thoughts on this topic. All responses are completely confidential and only anonymised or collated data will be included in the final report.

The survey will be open for two weeks, until 24th March at 5pm.

Thank you.


  • If paying someone the pittance that is the living wage takes away an employers ability to "to reward, motivate and develop employees in a way that best fits their organisation. " then I am all for taking that away.

    We restrict employers in lots of ways and this is one of better ones for me

    Welcome to the communities
  • In reply to Keith:

    I fully agree that the living wage is an excellent method of rightly ensuring that employees are not exploited by companies with questionable business practices.

    My interest is in how organisations are adapting their existing strategies to balance competing priorities as a result. One example is the cost of compliance, which absolutely must be met, but may limit budgets available for other initiatives such as development in organisations where finances may be tight.

    I am aware of where our organisation could improve in this regard (such as a commitment to exceed the living wage) but I would really like to know how others are managing these changes and if the same challenges affect multiple organisations.

    I often read the forums but this is the first time putting my head above the parapet!
  • In reply to Sarah Manford:

    I think this is a very interesting area of research and wish you luck with your studies.
    Whilst I have my thoughts as a HR practitioner, I would also like to share a personal anecdote of a family member who works in the catering industry, specifically a chain pub/restaurant. He works hard, is reliable and accepts the long hours as part and parcel of the industry (he is in his mid 30's now and worked in various pubs his whole working life, from bar man to assistant manager level). He is currently working as bar team leader, which offers a level of hours and responsibility which suit his family life, and was initially pleased at the offer of the NLW and felt like this was a good way of bringing up the lowest paid roles to a more acceptable level of pay.
    However, the knock on effects of this were perfectly clear when the first months rota's were made after the increase. Staffing levels had been cut, dramatically so, meaning that not only did customer service levels decline, as there is now not enough staff to cover demand, but increasingly staff motivation and morale is decreased, as they have to turn up to shifts knowing that the team will be stretched and that just one absence or team member not pulling their weight can send the whole place into chaos. Turnover and staff absence is high, morale is low, customers are unhappy and voting with their feet.
    This is happening in the service sector across the country, and whilst I fully support the aims of the NLW in terms of giving the least paid workers a valued increase, employers do not seem to be taking this in the spirit it is intended and in my family member's case he has told me that he would gladly take a pay cut to have a full team again! Never mind "rewarding and developing staff" it seems some employers are in a race to the bottom, regardless of the obligations the govt place on them.
    A very interesting topic indeed - best of luck with your research.
  • In reply to Angela Jellyman:

    Bad employers will always be bad employers....