Employers can take action today…
There are tangible ways to address the most common shifts in this evolved landscape, many of which we have discussed.
… to truly understand what motivates employees
Learn more about employees by adding questions to employee surveys that can provide deeper insights into the attitudes, motivators, goals, concerns, and values of employees — both in and out of work — going beyond typical demographic information.
… to build a trusting, caring culture
Look for ways to continuously recognize employee achievements outside of annual performance reviews — consider implementing things like peer-to-peer recognition program, allowing colleagues to acknowledge each other with points that can be redeemed for prizes.
Ensure employees understand how their role contributes to the organization’s mission, so they fully understand how they help achieve success.
… to implement employee-centric policies
Offer policies around flexibility that are accessible to employees across all life-stages — adaptable work schedules, paid leave to take care of family, permission to work remotely, and Summer Fridays (additional time off during the summer) are among the most requested.
Offer benefits and integrate policies that support employees’ lives outside of work — emerging benefits such as unlimited paid time off (PTO), programs that reward healthy behavior, phased retirement, and paid sabbatical programs are among those employees say they want most.
… to encourage personal and professional development
Leverage the variety of established and start-up companies that provide unique technology-enabled workforce education platforms to keep employees’ knowledge and skills up to date in a personalized, agile, and easy way.
Offer professional development opportunities that are not based on promotion — such as work rotations or stretch and step-up assignments (where, under the right guidance, employees take on responsibilities typically reserved for more senior employees).
… to create a holistic benefit program
Offer a wide range of benefits, both employer- and employee-paid, so employees have the ability to build packages that are personalized to their individual needs and that can be changed as their needs evolve.
Use financial wellness programs, leveraging tools and resources that are shown to drive real impact — such as personalized advice, one-on-one guidance, and goal-orientated short- and long-term planning.
Enhance retirement savings programs to support employees during their retirement — offering ways to generate income as well as strategies to help them manage their savings so that they don’t outlive them.
… to better communicate benefits
Engage employees as if they were customers: alter the way benefits are communicated — instead of focusing on individual products (e.g., hospital indemnity insurance), help employees understand how benefits work together to add value to their lives (e.g., provide coverage for unexpected hospital visits, which can be very expensive and which many insurance plans don’t cover).
Communicate benefits more effectively by using the channels employees find most effective; the top five most preferred channels are the company’s benefits website, the provider’s website, in-person group presentations, benefits handbooks, and one-on-one guidance.
Once employers understand that employees simply want to have meaningful experiences inside and outside of the workplace, they can begin to shape work experiences to keep their workforce engaged. From structured work flexibility to increased training, employers have several levers to pull when it comes to enabling a better atmosphere for employees.
Yet, perhaps the biggest tool at their disposal is delivering a compelling mix of holistic benefits. Benefits can be reframed as a significant part of compensation, working with employees’ salary to contribute meaningful to their quality of life.
For a comprehensive set of insights, data, and recommendations about how employees and employers can better thrive in today’s workplace, please download the full MetLife 2019 U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study.