metlife has some strong words for employers in their 9th annual study of employee benefits trends report. their message? you don’t get it.
ok, so i’m paraphrasing here. but essentially, that’s the report’s gist. employers have lost the plot when it comes to designing and communicating benefits for their multigenerational workforce. and if metlife’s correct, they’ll pay for it in high churn. one in three employees hopes to be working elsewhere in 12 months’ time.
there’s a disconnect between wellness and productivity goals
“At the same time that employers are emphasizing their focus on cost control and cost shifting, they are placing less importance on increasing employee job satisfaction. There is also reduced emphasis on benefits that help employees achieve a better work-life balance; perhaps a questionable course given that many employees are dealing with increased stress at home and work.”
this study and SHRM’s 2011 workforce trends report highlight a teeny wrinkle. companies are trying to control all costs, including health care costs, and they’re doing so at the expense of their other goal: improving employees’ overall well-being. metlife calls acute attention to these competing priorities, particularly in a section where they show the connection between financial stress and debt and overall health.
it’s time to invest in personal, generations-based solutions
“Nearly 50% of employers responding to the survey have over 10 years of Human Resources (HR) experience and may not bring Gen X and Gen Y viewpoints to the table. Lack of consideration and customization for generational wants and needs may result in employers not offering the right benefits to get more return on their benefits investments.”
whether it’s design or communications, companies have been slow to deliver customized solutions. they’ve overlooked the opportunity to tailor benefits and target messages to different generations, and they’ve persisted in delivering a one-size-fits-all benefits package, one not necessarily delivered via the channel many employees would prefer: the internet. it’s expensive to create tailored solutions. but then again, so are poor choices and the lowered productivity that comes from lowered commitment.
convenience + desire = social media for benefits communications
“Seventy percent of employers say they do not use social media, and the Study uncovers some of the perceived barriers to including it in the communications mix. Some employers (25%) believe there is a lack of interest on the part of their employees, while others cite legal concerns (23%) or lack of resources (37%). Others say it is just “not valuable” for their company (33%).”
seventy-four percent of companies “acknowledge that social media provides an easy, convenient way for employees to obtain benefits information,” and the data shows gen x and gen y employees want their benefits information delivered this way. the conversation should no longer be about why not to use social media for benefits communications but how to do so.