Key Considerations When Balancing New Benefit Innovations with Long Term Needs

Let’s be honest: all businesses want to be known as innovators. Blazing a trail in their chosen industries, setting new standards, pushing the envelope of what’s possible… Yup, it’s all about going forwards and never looking back.

Our world of employee engagement is no different.

We’re always on the lookout for the next big thing in employee benefits and keeping a close eye on the small trends that could signal a seismic shift in how businesses look after their most precious asset: their staff.

Every business is different and as a result, no-two employee benefits strategies will be the same. What works at engaging one workforce may not bat the eyelids of another, and this is where that all-important innovation comes in.

When looking to define your employee engagement strategy, offering something that sets you apart from your competitors and attracts and retains the most talented workers will be top priorities. But it needs to be more than just a new flash in the pan trend that ‘keeps up with the Joneses’ or an Instagram-worthy perk. Innovation runs far deeper than that.

Here are some points to consider:

1. Are You Engaging with Your Workforce Through Tech?

Technology is now a driving force behind how businesses engage with their staff. In fact, 80% of HR employees surveyed found that using HR technologies improved employees' attitude towards the company (G2 Crowd EE Survey, 2019).

However, investing in sophisticated apps, websites or benefit platforms straight off the bat isn’t always necessarily the answer and might not be the innovation you’re really looking for – despite the obvious attractions!

Remember that tech works best when it’s helping employers build connections and communicate more effectively with their staff. This in turn helps to build that long-term engagement with their workforce that not only attracts people to the business but encourages them to stay with their employers for longer, too.

Suffolk County Council Employee Benefits Scheme Case Study - Click here to read

2. Are you Personalising Your Benefits?

As mentioned earlier, HR and employee benefits are now moving away from the one-size-fits-all mentality and instead, adopting a personalised approach.

This personalisation includes things like segmenting employees when communicating with them or running tailored benefits. For example, new starters on their onboarding journey may require a different approach as opposed to those who’ve been with the company for a long time or are approaching retirement.

Those benefits should also include things like learning and development as well as perks – just try to ensure they’re both relevant and not too generic.

This type of innovation is often overlooked by employers, but making this simple yet effective strategy towards benefits really pay dividends in the long-term.

3. Are You Instilling a Sense of Trust?

Innovation isn’t just confined to technology or tangible stuff – sometimes a revolution can be a state of mind.

People are more sceptical than ever - including towards their employer! Research from Ernst & Young showed that less than half of respondents have “a great deal of trust” in their current employer, and a lack of trust is engagement kryptonite.

Businesses need to ask themselves how they build trust with their workforce and what barriers may be standing against them. After all, you could have the most sophisticated benefits platform and best perks out there, but if your employees don’t have trust in either the technology or benefits you offer, they’re pretty much pointless.

4. Are Your Marketing and HR Activities Aligned?

Finally, your HR and marketing teams may not, on the surface at least, seem similar in their duties, but aligning them to work closer can help ensure the talent you recruit fits in with your brand values and mindset.

Perceptions of a brand trickles down from internal observations to the end-customer, so it’s important the workforce lives and breathes your vision, values and goals.

If they don’t, it will always be an uphill struggle to drive both engagement and, perhaps most importantly, that innovation you’ll need to sustain your business.


How's the health of your workplace? Truth is, that a tired or unhealthy workforce isn't great for productivity, morale or... Yup, you guessed it: innovation.

Helping your workforce keep fit and healthy can help drive a positive workplace culture, and a positive workplace culture is a foundation for success.

Take the temperature of your organisation and download your free health and wellbeing questionnaire via the link below!

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