MetLife Study Finds Employees Dissatisfied with Benefits Programs

by: Nichole Gunn November 30, 2010

A new MetLife report shows effective strategies to use to initiate and maintain employee wellness and incentive programs without putting significant financial burden on the company. The key strategy is to increase employee satisfaction and retention, and lower healthcare costs.

According to the report, this is a doable strategy that will help improve a company’s bottom line. But, there is a need for improvement in comprehensive wellness programs, as well as other benefits programs.

MetLife conducted a small business study revealing that only 27% of employees were content with their benefits programs. It also noted that “employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to want to stay with their current employers, and job satisfaction is strongly connected with benefits satisfaction.” Statistics of the study showed that employees who were satisfied with their benefits were much more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.

In regard to employers, the study found that “controlling costs is the most important benefits objective for all companies — but retention is close behind and productivity is growing in importance.”

The MetLife report went on to list five specific strategies to help employers meet their goals:

1. There is a need to reduce costs for dental, disability, and life insurance. These incentives are “bigger drivers of employee loyalty than many employers recognize.” Reduce the fluff and get down to the nitty-gritty.

2. Create low-budget forms of wellness programs by utilizing local health organizations. Along with this, employees need to be motivated to participate in the offered wellness programs, and employers should help control healthcare costs. Preventive care rules.

3. Help employees cope with financial stress and the related affects on productivity and retention. Offer services, products, and education that will help “address financial issues

such as EAPs, individual disability income, supplemental life insurance, funeral planning, etc.”

4. Simply Benefits and increase communication. Define all terms and present the benefits in a manner the employee will appreciate. Even consider social media for an information line.

5. Leverage the available and doable small business workplace advantages, such as flexible hours for family obligations. These strategies will go a long way toward increased employee loyalty.

While at least half of the employers surveyed stated they were concerned about the rising cost of healthcare, a recent study conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation found “that companies are shifting 14 percent of medical expenses onto employees – although insurance premiums are only rising 3 percent.”