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  • Writer's picturelindsayannkohler

Is Employee Engagement A Painkiller Or A Vitamin?

Thie piece originally appeared on Forbes on September 15, 2020.

A common lens through which venture capitalists view products when evaluating whether to invest or not is in terms of whether the product is a "painkiller" or a "vitamin." A painkiller is a must-have product. A vitamin is considered a nice-to-have product. This health analogy works well for human resource and benefits teams as they continue to evaluate what to offer employees to attract and retain top talent.

Traditionally, companies have had to master the art of providing painkillers — healthcare, retirement benefits, additional well-being resources, etc. As we move into an altered working landscape, what new benefits might people want? Onsite gyms might have tempted people in the past, but demand is now growing for more practical support, especially as remote working is no longer a "vitamin" to be dangled in front of employees. Engagement cannot be demanded. But it can be motivated through the strategic and creative use of new and innovative perks and benefits. Or, what teams can view as "vitamins."

What could these vitamins look like? Perspectives from three companies in vastly different industries give teams food for thought. Read the rest on Forbes.

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