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Experience the human workplace

MetLife's 16th Annual US Employee Benefit Trends Study 2018

In today's connected world, work and life overlap like never before.

As an advocate for the workforce, MetLife helps employers and employees navigate this new work-life world. We work to understand what matters to employees so that we can help HR decision makers proactively engage the workforce by building meaningful employee experiences that are deeply human.

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Thriving in the New Work-Life World

The Empowered Employee

Employees are positioned to dictate the terms of employment in more ways than in any other time this century.

Businesses in search of the best and brightest are facing a field of candidates that are more empowered than ever.

The battle for talent is on. Increasingly, workers aren't forced to scramble for opportunities. Instead, employees are in demand, positioned to dictate the terms of employment in more ways than in any other time this century. Employees today see work as a part of who they are and, therefore, want their work to reflect their values, interests and aspirations.

These shifts in employee attitudes are in large part a reaction to a positive market. Today's employees are enjoying decreasing unemployment rates, while platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed are giving employees a clear view into what they can expect from companies. The combination of strong jobs numbers and increased transparency means employees have the options and the information to hold companies accountable.

Employees feel their work is purpose-driven

I feel a strong sense of purpose at my work

73%

Bridging the Gap

Employees crave experiences that feel more human and engaging and that enrich their lives as a whole.

With a more empowered employee comes increased confusion – on both sides. Employers and employees struggle to shape a work experience that benefits them both, and few have found lasting success. Employees and employers are misaligned in their perceptions of what makes a great work experience; as a result, investments aren't seeing returns, and turnover remains high. Employees crave experiences that feel more human and engaging and that enrich their lives as a whole.

Employees today need experiences that will develop their professional skills, challenge them personally, connect them to something bigger and provide an enriching work and life reality. But there's a gap between what employees need and what they're getting. To bridge the gap, employers and HR decision makers need to connect more deeply with employees. In doing so, employers can proactively create enriching experiences that honor employees as whole people.

Employees are seeking more support from their employers to help them succeed
My company teaches me the skills I need to succeed in my current position
63%
Our employees are learning the skills they need to succeed in their current position
74%
employees
employers

Introducing the Human Workplace

Moments of truth are the foundation for building a more human experience at work.

What employees want is a human workplace. This is a workplace that sees employees as whole, complete people with experiences at work and at home that combine to make a meaningful life. Through the human workplace, employees have access to the experiences that lead to higher job satisfaction and better performance. Further, employees feel valued, respected and encouraged. In the human workplace, employees improve everything from NPS scores to Glassdoor and Indeed reviews.

To create a human workplace, employers need to create moments of truth that enable more enriching experiences—distinctive moments crafted to acknowledge, support and celebrate employees. This isn't a "nice job" comment, in passing, at the cafeteria. These are intentional opportunities to display commitment to an employee's individuality and humanity that are woven into the DNA of an organization.

There an opportunity to help employees feel more appreciated and empowered across the workforce
The majority of time at work, I feel appreciated
60%
The majority of time at work, I feel empowered
58%
Appreciated
Empowered

Creating Experiences that Matter

Two ways employers can immediately shift to a more human workplace are through flexible benefit packages and financial wellness programs.

Moments of truth are different for every company. Depending on your company's size and culture, moments of truth will come to life in nuanced ways. However, these moments aren't only about creating changes in employee experiences; they are also about changing a mindset. Crafting a more human experience means enriching the culture of the organization and backing it up with real experiences that provide meaning and value.

Understanding that employees' lives aren't always predictable and that they care about causes in the wider world are just two examples of how to tap into more human experiences. Programs and offerings that support flexibility and that empower employees to make an impact are essential to the human workplace.

Both employees and employers agree that non-medical benefits can be a win
I am interested in having my employer provide a wider array of non-medical benefits that I can choose to purchase and pay for on my own
60%
I am interested in having my employer provide a wider array of non-medical benefits that I can choose to purchase and pay for on my own
62%
employees
employers

Answering the Needs of Tomorrow

A more empowered employee means that they can demand more human workplaces.

A more empowered employee means that they can demand more human workplaces. By creating moments of truth and developing intentional experiences that recognize employees' humanity, everyone wins. Employees feel more satisfied, grow more committed to the success of the organization and become promoters themselves while employers benefit from a more engaged and productive workforce.

Shifting mindsets, embracing a more human culture and providing tangible benefits and programs, allow today's employers to meet the demands of tomorrow.