Findings from MetLife's 2018 Benefit Trends Study - Improving Employee Satisfaction
(Posted on 05/08/18)
In a recent study conducted by MetLife, they found that employees have a deep-rooted appreciation for benefits that are not only medical. This polled population was comprised of an even amount of male and female employees between the ages of 25 and 55, making an annual salary of between $30,000 and $75,000. While medical benefits are still appreciated and accepted among all employed personnel, alternate and more intangible means of employer contribution are being requested by the growing workforce.
One of the first few demands noted in this survey is the request of a purpose-driven means of work. Employees spend more time at work than they do at home, therefore the need to adopt a “work persona” has drastically dropped, and individuals are relying more on acting the same at work as they do at home. I can relate — my name is Elizabeth, but ever since I can remember my nickname has been Bitz, so my co-workers and, even the President of the company calls me Bitz! If that isn’t the opposite of a work-persona, I don’t know what is!
This simple switch can make someone’s career more fulfilling, their work relationships more concrete and solid, and their outlook on work brighter. A negative side effect to these “work personas” that some companies still require is that they create high turnover and overall dissatisfaction within the company, resulting in a void in the employee/employer relationship. Employees crave a more human, engaging work experience where they feel as though they are truly appreciated and connected. Finding this middle ground between employees and their employers can help to bridge that gap, and keep their workforce productive, engaged, and focused while still remaining at ease and feeling like themselves.
As previously stated, employees spend nearly all of their time at work, so feeling a sense of enrichment that they can carry over into their personal lives is something people look for when applying for jobs. With sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed readily available, the up-and-coming workforce is more likely to apply to jobs that meet these standards of employee satisfaction and enrichment than those that do not. When put into perspective, a college graduate on average is twenty-two years old, and when they enter the workforce, they are expected to work consistently and steadily for 45 years! How can a person who is still basically a child, who just had to ask permission to use the restroom a mere three months earlier be expected to be the embodiment of professionalism?
Back on track, the most popular among these fulfillments are moments of recognition and appreciation. Having meetings or events to recognize employees in a fun and creative setting, rather than in passing, or over e-mail, builds moments of gratitude, trust, and overall satisfaction within the company that radiate from employee to employee and can shine through into their personal lives as well. Here at Martin, we have monthly meetings where they cater breakfast and coffee, and we discuss the previous month’s ups and downs as well as quarterly meetings that feature prizes, employee highlights, and are truly a morale boost. In a stressful industry such as health insurance, it is nice to know we are doing a good job and our work is appreciated.
The last highlighted point in this study is the ultimate necessity of a work-life balance. Employees respond best to companies that provide flexible scheduling, and the ability to work from home. This balance makes employees more focused, productive, and engaged, to the point where they are happier to come to work, and interact more positively with their colleagues. Enabling employees to work remotely at least one day a week builds trust between employees and employers, and the slight separation from their co-workers can lead to stronger relationships that feel more like family bonds. Overall, the only way a company can survive is to treat its employees with respect and trust. With these two elements in place, both the employees and employers will feel — and be — more successful.