Better Benefits Drive Workplace Productivity & Happiness

Ryan Gardner | June 4, 2019 Employer Insights

Better Benefits Drive Workplace Productivity & Happiness According to MetLife Study

In our last post, we explored some of the key findings from MetLife’s 2019 Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, specifically focusing on how retirement affordability fears are driving most Americans’ personal financial stress – and how employer-provided student loan assistance can help alleviate those stresses.

Today’s post looks at the survey’s findings on how employers providing better benefits packages and demonstrating a commitment to their employees’ financial wellness, including with student loan repayment services, can unlock higher levels of productivity and happiness in the workplace.

Better benefits create a thriving workplace

That’s according to 50% of respondents in the MetLife study. Employees also named benefits customized to their needs as one of their top five drivers of happiness at work.

This has a major, long-term impact on hiring and retention. In fact, the employees in the study said as much themselves:

  • 60% cited benefits as an important reason for why they joined a company in the first place
  • 78% said that benefits packages drive their own productivity
  • 80% called benefits an important part of building and sustaining their workplace culture 

But the study also highlights a problem on this front: an emerging gap between what employees expect of their employers and what employers think their employees want.

An employer commitment to financial wellness

In 2015, 68% of employees said that employers have a responsibility to the health and wellness of their employees – including their financial wellness. By 2019, that number grew to 76% of employees. But employees’ expectations of what they expect out of their employers on this front are increasing, while their satisfaction with their current benefits is on the decline.

  • 44% of employers believe they offer a comprehensive benefits program. Just 33% of employees agree.
  • 73% of employers believe their employees are satisfied with the benefits they offer. Meanwhile, 67% of employees feel satisfied with those benefits – a figure that’s already down from 71% in 2018.
  • 68% of employers think the ability to customize benefits is important to their employees. But 93% of employees call this a must-have or nice-to-have perk.

In fact, this interest in customizing benefits is only growing – from 65% in 2015 to 72% in 2019 who not only want that customization option but say it would increase their loyalty to their employer.

That goes hand-in-hand with a pathway to reduced financial stress: 58% of employees – and even more so among just Millennial and Gen Z workers – said that “nontraditional” benefits would help reduce their own stress. When you consider that one-third of employees admitted to being less productive at work because of financial stress, reimagining benefits packages can have a holistic impact on both employees and employers alike: making employees feel more connected to their organization while also driving them to new levels of productivity.

Student loan repayment assistance provides exactly that kind of reimagined, nontraditional benefit, providing a new way forward for employees to reduce their financial stress – paying down student debt while making new headway on retirement saving that they otherwise couldn’t afford. All this while also providing employers with an attractive new perk for recruiting employees and keeping existing ones happy and liable to stay for the long run.

Are you struggling to recruit or retain top-notch talent? Vault’s student loan repayment platform provides just the competitive advantage you need to boost your hiring and retention strategies, offering employees an attractive perk that doubles as an avenue toward debt defiance and financial freedom from retirement stress. Contact us for more info on how we can help.