Employees want more benefits support amid ‘permacrisis,’ MetLife survey finds

Dive Brief:

  • Ninety-two percent of employees want more consistent care at work from their employers, and 79% want more support in their personal lives, according to the results of financial services company MetLife’s 22nd Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, which were released Monday. 
  • Employees who feel cared for by their employers are 60% more likely to plan to stay at their current organization for the next year and 55% more likely to feel productive in their jobs, per the study. Employees reported not feeling supported when dealing with unplanned financial stress, experiencing a mental health condition or becoming the primary breadwinner, however. The study used responses from two surveys — an employer survey that interviewed 2,595 benefits decision-makers and influencers and an employee survey with interviews from 2,809 full-time employees — to develop insights. 
  • “Against the backdrop of a permacrisis, this year’s study underscores the urgent need for employers to acknowledge the modern challenges that impact their workforce and take steps to support employees in new and bigger ways, resulting in more successful workplaces,” Todd Katz, executive vice president and head of group benefits at MetLife, said in a statement.

Dive Insight:

Employers are turning to benefits to address employees’ needs and foster retention and attraction. 

The Employee Benefits Research Institute’s 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey found that most employees said they thought employers are at least partly responsible for their mental, emotional, physical and financial health and well-being.   

In the Business Group on Health’s annual survey of large employers last year, 80% of respondents said that access to mental healthcare was their top mental health focus. Of those surveyed, 77% said they saw increased mental health issues in the workplace. 

Employers that respond proactively to current events may attract the interest of job seekers as well. After the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, employers that announced changes to their benefits or openly voiced support for reproductive healthcare saw an 8% increase in clicks on job postings compared to listings for similar jobs at companies that didn’t make such proclamations, an August analysis by Indeed and Glassdoor found.