Insights from MetLife’s Employee Benefit Trends Study 2023 show that employee care nearly doubles small business employee loyalty and engagement

Against the backdrop of the current uncertain economic landscape and the increasing cost of living for Americans due to inflation, it’s imperative that small business employers focus on demonstrating care across the employee experience, including supporting the financial health of their employees, even as their own business challenges mount. According to insights from MetLife’s U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2023, financial health of small business employees has decreased 10% year over year – 1.5 times the rate experienced by employees at larger organizations – all while the costs of running a small business increase and competition becomes fiercer.

MetLife’s research shows that small business owners can make manageable investments into employee care that can make a big difference – both for individual employees and for the business as a whole.

“This new era of ongoing financial uncertainty has reshaped employee-employer dynamics,” said Cynthia Smith, SVP, Regional Business at MetLife. “As employees continue to feel the impact of financial stressors, small businesses have an opportunity to anticipate and adapt to employees’ ever-changing needs. At a time when the fight for talent can make or break growing and established businesses alike, small business leaders who recognize the increasingly pivotal role that employee care plays in improving outcomes can position their organization for long-term success and even compete with larger businesses on satisfaction and loyalty.”

Fostering Employee Care

MetLife’s Employee Benefit Trends Study 2023 deep-dive into small businesses found that the top three business concerns for small business owners are attracting and retaining talent (62% and 61%, respectively), as well as employees’ overall well-being (60%). On the business side, the MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index for Q3’23 found that a majority (52%) of small businesses say inflation is their largest challenge.

As small business employees report being 7% less satisfied with their job than workers at larger organizations – a more than threefold increase since 2022 – it’s clear that demonstrating care is essential for small business owners hoping to safeguard their talent.

MetLife has identified the top solutions to boost employee care and holistic wellness across the employee experience, including:

  • Implement listening mechanisms to gather employee feedback
  • Increase transparency around business performance and managerial decision-making
  • Offer wellness programs and voluntary benefits

Give employees tools to assess and improve their financial health

When small business employers demonstrate care in the workplace, employees are more likely to not only feel holistically healthy (3.3x), they are also more satisfied with their job (2.4x), which can lead to improved engagement (2.0x) and loyalty to their employers (1.9x). Even a small investment in workplace benefits and programs can improve outcomes for employees, particularly when employers focus on the benefits most in demand among today’s talent.

Click here to read more small business insights from MetLife’s Employee Benefits Trends Study 2023.  

Research Methodology

MetLife’s 21st Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study was conducted in November 2022 and consists of two distinct studies fielded by Rainmakers CSI – a global strategy, insight, and planning consultancy. The employer survey includes 2,840 interviews with benefits decision makers and influencers at companies with at least two employees; companies must provide benefits to US-based employees. The employee survey consists of 2,884 interviews with full-time employees ages 21 and over, at companies with at least two employees in the US. To provide additional context to our quantitative findings, we conducted 24 employee telephone interviews between December 2022 and January 2023. We recruited participants to ensure a spread of demographics, incomes, worker types, industries and business sizes. This release contains data collected for but not reported in the primary report.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help individual and institutional customers build a more confident future. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets globally and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Judi Mahaney