Jackie Buttery: Should benefits professionals get to know their staff?

Jackie Buttery

I read an article fairly recently about the value of insight and about doing your homework before investing money. The retailers all do their homework extensively, canvassing customer opinion widely.

Could benefits professionals take something from this sector and regard staff as more like customers to seek feedback more readily?

We conduct proper research before investing our own money in a property or business venture, yet in truth, is our homework sometimes a little lighter when it is an organisation’s money?

Many organisations spend millions each year on employee benefits, yet staff may not appreciate what is offered or provided, or understand the value to the firm and to them. Engaging with employees and seeking feedback can ensure you are devoting your time to the right products and policies. 
This is a time when some of us will be seeing four or five generations in the workplace. It seems likely that the different generations will have different motivators and engagement drivers, but are we each typical of our generation and do staff think in the same way regardless of where they work? It seems unlikely to me. 
Getting to know your people and being responsive to their feedback can be very powerful in the battle to retain and engage them. Understanding how your own organisation uniquely ticks, and what your staff want and need from you, the employment bargain must surely be the route to higher staff engagement and productivity and to delivering better value for money?

Jackie Buttery is a reward and employee benefits consultant