Rolls-Royce offers a salary raise to employees to cushion staff during exceptional times

today2022.07.04. 4417 5 5


Farai Mugabe, Content & Research, The HR Congress


Living in a highly uncertain world after going through a pandemic and now battling with energy prices and inflation, employee expectation has changed. They expect an employer who cares and takes action to answer their needs. Rolls-Royce offers a salary raise to improve engagement.

After COVID-19, a new world emerged where employees have different expectations from employers—they expect an employer who cares. Employer expectations from employees remain unchanged. They still want employees to be productive and engaged at work. Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce has offered a salary raise, including a £2,000 ($2 455) bonus to its employees. The company said this was meant to safeguard against “economic uncertainty.” 

Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, said, “We are living through exceptional times,” in a memo seen by the Financial Times. Inflation has been rising in the UK, with analysts singling out the war in Ukraine as the main contributor to inflation. Energy prices have been on the rise across all of Europe. Electricity prices rose by 95.5% in the UK. Such changes have pressured employers to raise salaries as they battle employee disgruntlement and mass exits.1

Rolls-Royce indicated that the bonus would be a one-off payment to 14,000 of its estimated staff complement of 20,000 in the UK. This covers 3,000 junior managers and 14,000 shop-floor factory staff. The 11,000 shop floor staff will also receive a 4% pay increase that is backdated to March, provided the workers’ union accepts the offer. 

However, reports coming in from the BBC reports that Unite, a workers union representing some of the employees, has rejected the pay rise, indicating that the offer undermines the trade union and negotiating position between the unions and the employer. Talks between Rolls-Royce and the workers union over wage issues are currently ongoing. The hope is that a settlement will eventually be reached.2

During the previous month, the HR Congress also reported that KPMG had introduced a salary raise to its UK staff. This was done to meet changing employee expectations. The salary raise was between £2000 and £4000. The move was meant to go a long way in positioning KPMG as an employer of choice in the financial services sector and shielding the business against the negative impact of the great resignation.3 

Recent world developments have resulted in an unhappy, burnt-out, and tired workforce. 41% of the entire global workforce is considering handing over their resignation as a result of several reasons, such as work pressures. Employees have become highly unsettled as they battle out a depressing world.4

Business leaders remain optimistic that times will change and that companies will emerge out of the crises much stronger. Business advisor and academic Dave Forman indicates that business leaders should be fearless as they navigate uncertain times. He acknowledges that while living in tough times, bold and fearless choices will help businesses emerge as victors.5

In a related incident, HR leaders will meet at the HR Congress Techfest on 27 September 2022 to discuss how technology impacts the field of people management.6 They will meet again on 29 November 2022 at the HR Congress World Summit to explore how HR professionals can rise to the current challenges and take specific actions to navigate the environment. The theme for the HR Congress World Summit is inspired by Professor Dave Ulrich and is entitled “HR’S NEW HORIZON, CREATING SUSTAINED HUMAN CAPABILITY.”7

1Rolls-Royce offers workers £2,000 to help ease cost of living crises, Financial Times

2Union rejects Rolls-Royce £2,000 living-cost bonus, by Kevin Peachey, BBC

3KPMG offers a salary raise to meet changing employee expectations, by Farai Mugabe, HR Congress

4Annual work trend index report. Great Expectations: Hybrid Work Work, Microsoft Worklab

5Six fearless talent choices that HR has to make in times of BANI, by Farai Mugabe, HR Congress



Written by: Mihaly Nagy

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